by Patrick Tuohey, David Stokes
April 15, 2014
The Kansas City community is deservedly excited about the expansion of the campus and headquarters of the forture 500 engineering design firm Burns and McDonnell within the city. However, neither that excitement nor the undeniable quality of the company necessitates millions of dollars in tax subsidies. This size of the subsidy package and Tax Increment Financing (TIF) that Burns and McDonnell will request is not public yet. However, at basically any amount of subsidy, granting that TIF and other incentives would be very poor policy for Kansas City. By any economic development standard, giving a company tax dollars to simply expand close to its own, existing campus is an egregious use of other people’s money.