Two companies moving from Kansas to Missouri

Wednesday, July 23, 2014 | 12:36 p.m. CDT

KANSAS CITY — Missouri has apparently won another round in the continuing border war with Kansas that involves using tax incentives to entice businesses to move across the state line that runs through the Kansas City metropolitan area.

Leawood, Kan.-based Cbiz Inc. and Mayer Hoffman McCann PC have announced plans to move their headquarters and a total of about 450 employees to Kansas City, Missouri's Country Club Plaza, The Kansas City Star reported).

The moves come as officials in Missouri and Kansas have been seeking a truce in the border war, in which the states have used tax incentives to lure businesses and jobs away from the other. Gov. Jay Nixon recently signed legislation to set a moratorium on the tax incentive border war, but that legislation requires Kansas to reciprocate before Missouri's actions change. Kansas has not acted.

Border war critics estimate that since 2009 more than 4,400 jobs have moved from Jackson County, Mo., to Johnson or Wyandotte counties in Kansas, with $136 million going to the companies. Estimates also show that more than 2,900 jobs have moved from Kansas to Jackson County, Mo., with the companies keeping $76 million in employee state income taxes.

Richard Mills, Cbiz Financial Services' chief operating officer, said the firms had settled on the Plaza before applying to Missouri for incentives.

But, Amy Susan of the Missouri Department of Economic Development said in an email, that Cbiz could access as much as $25.4 million in incentives under the Missouri Works program by meeting "strict job creation and investment criteria." Mayer Hoffman McCann could access up to $660,787 under the same criteria, she said.

Matt Keith, spokesman for the Kansas Department of Commerce, declined comment Wednesday.

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