Omaha and Nebraska officials continue to voice disappointment with ConAgra Foods decision to move their headquarters to Chicago. Governor Pete Ricketts says he talked to their CEO a month ago and again this week and offered incentives and was told this is a restructuring issue and they did not need assistance. He says it is difficult to know what actually happened behind the scenes.
Governor Ricketts says, “I read in the Chicago Tribune that they had been offered an incentive package by Illinois to move there. The CEO, Sean Connolly only came on-board in April so I’m not sure what transpired.”
Governor Ricketts says Nebraska has work to do to attract and retain businesses. He says he recently had conversations with companies interested in locating here and that was the point of his current trade missions to Japan, China and in Europe.
Nebraska also needs to do more to retain a competitive edge. Governor Ricketts says, “We have the 12th highest property tax and the 26th highest income taxes and being in the middle-of-the-pack when it comes to taxes is not competitive. We have to work on that. We also need to work on cutting regulatory red tape that gets in the way of job creation.” Ricketts adds this is a competitive world and we are always at risk. While we get high rankings in a number of business rankings and cost of living, we can’t take these things for granted.