Today, despite multiple promises and reassurances of its loyalty to Kansas, Boeing Defense told its 2,400 workers in Wichita that their jobs are being shipped out to other states. Boeing has decided to start phasing out its Kansas workforce and will be completely gone by 2013.
Boeing’s decision to move its manufacturing work out of Wichita only highlights the growing necessity to create a more business friendly environment in the State of Kansas. Boeing’s relocation sites are 3 states that have much more business friendly tax structures and they are all states that are growing much faster than Kansas. The jobs are being moved to Washington and Texas, which are both no income tax states, and Oklahoma, which is currently in the process of eliminating their state income tax.
Kansas currently ranks 37th in economic growth and is continuing to fall in the rankings. Today’s announcement reinforces the fact that something needs to be done in order to keep companies from leaving our state and, more importantly, to entice others to come in. The elimination of the state income tax is the best way to create economic growth and help secure jobs in our state, the announcement by Boeing puts an exclamation point on that fact.
This disappointing news is forcing us to look into the mirror and realize that we can not simply keep with the status quo and hope for the best. It is time for Kansas to move forward and start making this state a beacon of opportunity for business, and the best way to do that is through the elimination of the income tax.