WISCONSINREPORT.COM (01/30/08) - Wisconsin State Senate Democrats unveiled their economic development plan today. The plan, Wisconsin Invests Now (WIN), focuses on investing in Wisconsin’s businesses, workers and infrastructure. Senate Majority Leader Russ Decker (D-Weston) said the plan’s focus on putting people to work now is critical to getting the economy going immediately. The plan is funded by closing the so-called Las Vegas Loophole, which has been called a tax scam that would save Wisconsin about 90 million dollars a year.
“If we want to jump start Wisconsin’s economy now, we have to focus our state resources on programs we know produce a big bang for the buck. Our technical college programs, job incubators like the Technology Zone Program and improving our roads and bridges all have produced results for our economy that we can count on to happen again,” said Decker.
The plan includes a major investment in state infrastructure as a way to encourage more businesses to locate here and put people to work right away.
It also increases funding for the Technical College Incentive Grants Program and maximizes business growth tools such as the Technology Zone Program tax credits and the Wisconsin Health & Educational Facilities Authority (WHEFA) program to provide low interest financing assistance to Wisconsin health care and educational facilities.
Decker cited investments in our roads and bridges as a critical component to any economic development plan for the state.
WIN increases funds for the State Highway Rehabilitation Program and Major Highway Development Program by $50 million and gives state approval for the KRM commuter line from Milwaukee to Kenosha. State approval is necessary to secure the federal funding needed for KRM to become a reality for Southeastern Wisconsin.
“We’ve seen how investing in our infrastructure strengthens the economy of our state so let’s stick with what works. By the time they finished the Highway 29 corridor, nearly 5,000 new jobs were created in northcentral Wisconsin,” said Decker.
“When I asked the owner of Wood Equipment why he relocated his business to Wisconsin from Illinois he said it was because our great transportation system will make his business work better,” Decker said.
The plan is funded by closing the Las Vegas Loophole. Ending this tax scam would save the state about $90 million a year. The Las Vegas Loophole is a tax shift to businesses operating only in Wisconsin.
Most of Wisconsin’s neighboring states have already closed this loophole.
“Closing this loophole is about tax fairness for businesses operating only in Wisconsin that cannot artificially shift income made in Wisconsin to other states to avoid Wisconsin taxes. Our plan rewards the good Wisconsin companies that have been playing by the rules,” said Decker.
“It’s time to invest this money in Wisconsin businesses, our workers and our infrastructure so we get our economy going again and put people to work now,” said Decker.