The economic environment of Kansas should be our state's highest priority. Without a strong, growing, and enduring economy the functions and services of state government will be burdensome to Kansas and the Kansas tax payer.
It is vital to our economy that we educate our children. However, if our economy is not robust, the children we educate will be forced to leave our state to ensure a successful future.
Our economy and our population have not kept pace with the rest of the nation. Our economic development strategy has consisted of ad hoc programs targeted at specific locations and specific businesses. This strategy has been successful in some situations. In other situations, it has only been a temporary solution, leaving the vast majority of the state unaffected.
Giving individual business incentives, while beneficial in the short term, ignores the bigger problem facing the state. Specifically, while we may help a business in the interim, we have done nothing to reinforce the economy of the state that would give all businesses an opportunity for long-term prosperity.
50 years ago, our businesses predominantly competed with other businesses in the state. That gave way to competition nationally. And today our tax structure and the economic environment we create must allow businesses to compete internationally.
We must create an economic environment that doesn't give new businesses a competitive advantage over existing businesses, but rather encourages investment from both existing and new business and industry across the entire state