Jobs for Working Families
Tax breaks for companies that promise high-salary jobs. One of the reasons Kansas City gives tax incentives is to reward high salaries. This benefits City Hall because it can collect a 1% earnings tax. High salaries help the city budget.
The problem is that companies able to pay high salaries probably don’t need tax incentives. For example, Waddell & Reed negotiated a highly subsidized office building with the city and state at the same time the company was being sold. The new owner did not need an office building and laid off many Kansas City employees. An expensive office building was built for a company that no longer exists.
Needed: Opportunities for Everyone. One of the positive aspects of Kansas City’s approach to tax incentives is that there are often requirements to pay prevailing wage and to make sure that minority-owned and women-owned businesses are able to participate. This should be required for all incentives.
Companies that benefit from tax incentives should pay their employees at least $15 per hour and adequate provide health benefits.
We must prioritize jobs that support Kansas City’s most unemployed and underemployed workers. Prioritizing jobs for young adults in our urban core is needed as part of a larger strategy to positively engage youth and reduce community violence.