Last month, Wichita voters took to the ballot box to weigh in on whether the City of Wichita should provide government funded incentives for a new downtown hotel. This vote reminded everyone that a debate, in Kansas and around the country, remains about the best way to create jobs and economic prosperity.
As the Wall Street Journal
wrote after voters decided against this incentive package:
|Local politicians like to get in bed with local business, and taxpayers are usually the losers. So three cheers for a voter revolt in Wichita, Kansas last week that shows such sweetheart deals can be defeated.
Policy beliefs aside, some degree of incentives may be necessary as long as some companies expect them, but pragmatism also dictates that neither Wichita nor the State of Kansas can win an economic development war where the largest checkbook wins. Fortunately, incentives aren’t the only way to compete and in fact may only be important to a small portion of potential employers.
Should we increase incentives? What about lower taxes and less regulation? Targeted government spending or investment?
These are some of the important issues that will be addressed on 11 April at an economic development summit hosted by KPI.
National and Kansas experts will join at the WSU MetroPlex for a half-day of panel discussions and expert presentations. This free event is open to the public and you can register here
. Breakfast and lunch will be served and you can view the full agenda below;
Eco-Devo Through Economic Competition - 11 April 2012
7:30 – 8:15 a.m.: Registration and breakfast
8:15 a.m.: Welcome
- Dave Trabert – President of Kansas Policy Institute
8:30 a.m.: Implications of "Location Matters: A Comparative Analysis of State Tax Costs on Business”
- Joe Henchman
- Vice President of Legal and State Projects at the Tax Foundation
9:00 a.m.: Shaping Government to Increase Competitiveness
- The Honorable Maurice McTigue
- Vice President of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University
9:45 a.m.: Break
10:00 a.m.: Panel Discussion - Different Perspectives on Competitiveness and Development
- Ron Wilson
- Director of the Huck Boyd National Institute for Rural Development at Kansas State University
- Jeremy Hill
- Center for Economic Development and Business Research at Wichita State University
- Art Hall
, Ph.D. - Executive Director of the Center for Applied Economics at the University of Kansas
- The Honorable Maurice McTigue, Vice President of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University
- Walter Berry
- Chair, Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors
- Nick Jordan
, Kansas Secretary of Revenue
11:45 a.m.: Break
12:00 p.m.: Lunch served
12:15 p.m.: A Perspective from Washington
- U.S. Representative Mike Pompeo