Robin Vos Eupdate: Ideas for Economic Development in Wisconsin ~ March 26, 2010

Ideas for Economic Development in Wisconsin

A few weeks ago, I wrote that I would be unveiling my ideas to get Wisconsin 's economy back on track. This week I circulated a few different bills to the Legislature as part of a package of economic ideas Wisconsin could use to stimulate growth and create jobs.  I will be sharing these ideas with you over the course of the next few weeks. 

One of the bills I authored will give a $1000 tax deduction to EVERY Wisconsin employer for all existing full time equivalent jobs in the state, as well as any new full-time-equivalent jobs created.  This deduction would, of course, only be available to private sector businesses.  Non-profits and government jobs would not qualify for the deduction.

Sadly, far too many proposals circulated this session have been way too targeted. Crafting a proposal that limits the incentive to an exclusive group in order to generate a press release is not enough.  We need real policies that give every business a boost.   

My preliminary calculations show that there are approximately 2.3 million private sector jobs in the state.  While the Department of Workforce Development does not keep statistics on how many of those are full or part time jobs, we know for sure that this deduction would help countless employers and small business owners all over Wisconsin who are struggling to make ends meet.

Additionally, it's my hope that this deduction would free up some resources and lessen the tax burden on employers to a point where they would feel able to take on new employees - or at the very least stop the loss of businesses in Wisconsin .

A few weeks ago I posted a report from the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance that showed Wisconsin lost 6,700, or 4.3%,  of its businesses between 2006-2009.  This was a larger loss than any surrounding state and the US , on the whole.

Todd Berry, president of WISTAX, noted that "While employment figures and jobless rates are closely monitored by the press and the public during a recession—as they should be, less attention has been paid to the employers who provide jobs." My legislation is a direct attempt to pay more attention to job creators and businesses in this state.

Each year we read stories and see reports that often show a dismal view of Wisconsin 's business tax climate and our competitiveness with other states. Last year the national nonpartisan Tax Foundation ranked Wisconsin 's business climate 39 of 50.  They found Wisconsin to be less competitive than almost 3/4 of other states because of the higher than average levy and the very complicated code.

Forbes also gave Wisconsin an unfavorable rating, ranking Wisconsin the 44th best place to do business in the country last year. They cited high business costs and an unforgiving regulatory climate.

The bottom line is our tax structure really does hurt businesses and in turn, workers.  Even worse, insult was added to injury this year when a budget containing billions in tax increases was signed by the governor.  While I know my idea for a job creation tax deduction will not fix all our state's problems, I feel it's a step in the right direction to getting Wisconsin 's economy back on track.

Keep reading the update in coming weeks as I provide more ideas for how we might improve Wisconsin 's economy. 

State Representative Robin Vos State Capitol - Room 321 East - Post Office Box 8953 - Madison , Wisconsin 53708 Phone: (608) 266-9171 - Toll Free: (888) 534-0063 - Fax (608) 282-3663 Email: On the Internet: Representative Vos' Web Site