A Better Idea for the Claycomo Ford Plant
This blog has had favorable things to say about the governor’s hard choices and tough decisions when it comes to the Missouri budget, so a bit of mild criticism on another issue is probably fair — just to even things out, for the fun of it. Today’s Kansas City Star has video of the governor visiting the famous Claycomo Ford Plant. (The city really is named Claycomo, as in Clay County, Mo.) The governor calls for the legislature to pass a tax credit for companies that invest in plant equipment directly leading to Missouri jobs. He explains in the clip that this credit would be different than the other types of tax credits he has said need to be cut, as the Show-Me Institute has also argued.
Be that as it may, I still think I have a better idea. If you want to help the Ford plant in Clay County, make it easier for officials there to lower the enormous commercial property tax surcharge that county businesses pay. Clay County levies the third-highest surcharge in Missouri, at $1.59 per $100. Compare this to the GM plant in St. Charles County, which pays only $0.53 per hundred. Making it easier for the Clay County legislature to lower that rate, and changing the surcharge so that it rolls back as assessments increase, would benefit all the businesses in Clay County — the Ford Plant in particular.
For more background on the commercial surcharge in Missouri, check out this article, this testimony, and this House Resolution, which has been introduced in an attempt to make these important changes.