In quest for jobs, some cities will raid neighbors

RYAN J. FOLEY Associated Press Published:

CORALVILLE, Iowa (AP) -- When the leaders of a small Iowa city became desperate to land a new department store, they didn't have to look far: They lured one from the community next door, along with up to 100 jobs.

As the economy slowly strengthens, neighboring cities and states can be pitted against each other in the competition for jobs and development. But it's not always clear how many positions are actually created, rather than just poached and shuffled around. And some people question whether the deals are worth the high cost.

In Iowa, the store called Von Maur agreed to leave Iowa City for a platter of multimillion-dollar incentives from Coralville, which offered a bigger building, a parcel of land and a discount on the store's property tax bill.