ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Texas Gov. Rick Perry is running radio and television ads criticizing Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of a tax cut bill and urging Missouri businesses to move to Texas.
“There is a state where businesses flourish and jobs are created…Texas,” Perry says in one radio ad. The Texas governor goes on to claim that $40 million are leaving Missouri annually for the Lone Star State “because Missouri families and businesses know Texas is a great place to live and work.”
The week of radio spots, costing $100,000, will run on stations in St. Louis, Springfield, Columbia, Joplin, and Kansas City. The nine-day, $106,400 TV ad buy will air in St. Louis, Springfield, and mid-Missouri.
The ads are airing a week before Perry is scheduled to speak at a Missouri Chamber of Commerce luncheon and attend an evening event hosted by groups backing a veto override of HB 253, the tax cut bill. The Missouri Legislature will reconvene for a veto session next month and Republican leaders believe they have enough votes for an override.
“Governor Nixon is always happy to welcome a fellow governor to the Show Me State,” Nixon spokesman Scott Holste says, calling the ads “unfortunate” and “misleading.”
“Governor Perry’s ad is right about one thing: HB 253 would make Missouri more like Texas, with higher sales taxes, higher property taxes, and underperforming schools,” he added.
Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander responded to Perry in a letter Thursday afternoon, claiming the Texas governor is “poaching jobs.”
“I hope you reconsider your efforts and instead look at ways to cultivate new industries and companies in Texas, rather than just trying to steal other states’ successes,” Kander wrote.
“If a company moves to Texas as a result of your sales pitch, there’s a good chance it will leave for a better deal in some other state in the future,” Kander added. “But if a company starts in Texas, it’s more likely to stay there.”
St. Louis Labor Council President Bob Soutier says Texas has its own problems.
“They don’t lead the nation in wages and they certainly have a huge immigration problem there that they can’t get their hands around,” he says.
Holste says that the trip to Missouri may provide the Texas governor with an opportunity to learn about Missouri’s tax structure.
“While Governor Perry is here, he might want to go shopping as Missouri’s sales tax rate is a full two percentage points lower than Texas,” he said. “We also have a competitive corporate tax structure, lower property taxes, and higher student test scores.”
Soutier says Texas may be open for business, but at a steep cost to Missouri workers.
“They don’t want to have to ship products from China here so they want people in the United States to work for what Chinese are willing to work for and that’s just not acceptable.”