In Kansas, conservative tax policies have beset the state with budget woes and education financing that state courts consistently say is unconstitutional. In Missouri, lawmakers have dallied with the identity politics that repelled businesses from North Carolina.
Would a progressive company like Amazon seriously consider Kansas City, a city nestled between two deeply red states, for its second headquarters and its 50,000 jobs?
The answer isn’t so simple. Red states have upsides for companies like Amazon — low tax and regulatory environments. And blue states can be a pain — higher taxes and a more measured approach to offering taxpayer incentives.
Joel Kotkin, a geographer and prolific author on urban and suburban planning who is advising the Kansas City Area Development Council on its effort to land HQ2, said conservative state legislatures tend to enact policies that are more welcoming to businesses than liberal, coastal states.
What red, inland states lack in natural amenities coveted by in-demand workers — mountains, beaches — they strive to make up for with pro-business policies in order to compete with coastal cities.
Cities have until Oct. 19 to submit their proposals in hopes of convincing the company of their merits.
Read more: Kansas City Star