Border War Bill May Be Unconstitutional, Business Leader Says

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons
Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

A Missouri trade organization is questioning the constitutionality of a bill aimed at ending the economic development border war in the Kansas City area, legislation that has strong backing from Kansas City business leaders.

Under the proposed legislation, businesses moving between any of four border counties in Kansas and four border counties in Missouri would be unable to receive certain economic development incentives. Senate Bill 635 would have to be reciprocated by the Kansas Legislature before it would go into effect.

But Ray McCarty, president of Associated Industries of Missouri, claimed in a Jan. 3 blog that the bill might violate constitutional provisions guaranteeing equal protection. “Can a law be enacted that denies a tax benefit to some out-of-state employers while giving tax breaks to competitors moving from other areas?” McCarty wrote.

To answer his own questions, McCarty turned to the AIM Tax Committee, which includes more than 100 Missouri tax lawyers and accountants. Many of those committee members “believe such a law would have constitutional problems and could be voided by the courts.” McCarty wrote.

Read more from the Kansas City Business Journal

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