Kansas City, King of Corporate Welfare
Good Jobs First, a “national policy resource center for grassroots groups and public officials,” publishes what it calls its Subsidy Tracker, a list of the companies that receive state local and federal subsidies. Missouri and Kansas City are high on their list of subsidizers, which is unsurprising given our politicians' continuing tendency to hand out corporate welfare.
The report indicates that the total value of all corporate welfare in Missouri is a whopping $5.8 billion. That makes the Show-Me state the 10th-most subsidized in the union. Missouri subsidizes business to a greater extent than all of its neighboring states except Kentucky. (We even beat out Illinois!)
Of the top five corporations in Missouri that receive corporate welfare money, three are headquartered in Kansas City: Cerner, H&R Block, and DST Systems. They account for $2.3 billion in subsidies, about 40 percent of Missouri’s total.
Little wonder, then, that Kansas City—a high tax city—must borrow money to provide basic services such as dangerous structure teardown or infrastructure maintenance—we’ve given boatloads of our tax revenue away to wealthy corporations. Perhaps it’s time policymakers change direction; after all, for all the business Missouri residents subsidize, we’re still one of the slowest-growing states in the union.