WISCONSINREPORT.COM (02/05/08) - Republican State Representative Steve Wieckert of Appleton is introducing legislation that will help to stimulate the Wisconsin housing industry. The bill would allow individuals who have capital assets to sell that asset and use 100 percent of the funds to purchase a primary residence, without a tax consequence at that original point of sale. Taxes would be deferred. The portion of the home sale financed by the tax deferred sale of the original capital asset, would be payable when the home is sold.
“The housing industry is one of the major components of our economy. Our state and national economy are rather fragile right now and existing home sales are at a low point while new construction is extremely slow” Wieckert noted.
A while ago, home sales and auto sales were the two key elements to economic growth. Now things have changed. “Many people feel now is a good time to buy a home because it is such a buyers market. This bill is an attempt to allow individuals to purchase homes if the individuals feel that is in their best interest without experiencing the drag of our tax policy” Wieckert said.
An example would be if someone had mature stocks or other capital assets they would like to sell and use the proceeds to buy a home which they would live. In this situation there would be no capital gains tax on the sale of the stock at that point. It would allow the individual to have a seamless transfer from one asset to another based on the merits of the financial decision to the individual without being held back by a negative tax consequence, and help stimulate the housing industry.
Assembly Representative Steve Wieckert has been involved in several pieces of legislation in addition to the housing industry stimulus effort..
Wieckert introduced a bill earlier this year after months of working out agreements which would update the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act (AB570). This legislation would modernize Wisconsin’s laws regarding organ donation of which the sticker on the back of your driver’s license supporting organ donation is a critical part.
Wieckert coordinated his efforts with Sen. Fred Risser (D-Madison) in the Senate. This draft took months of work to develop as doctors, attorneys, and state officials became involved in the process. At one point there was even a dispute over defining death, which was later clarified to the satisfaction of all parties. Wieckert is hopeful of Assembly floor action later this month.
Previously, Wieckert’s bills on organ donation have been successful at becoming law. “Cody’s law, offering a tax deduction for the expenses incurred in organ donation, was adopted by thirteen other states, receiving coast-to-coast media coverage.” Last year, Wieckert was able to successfully navigate a bill through the legislative process which encouraged greater cooperation between coroners and transplant surgeons to ensure that the final wishes of an individual were fulfilled.
Wieckert noted that over 6,196 people died last year waiting on the list to receive an organ transplant. Reports also show that over 98,000 are now waiting to receive a transplant.
Rep. Steve Wieckert is pleased that his legislation (AB265) to create a positive, integrated statewide brand for Wisconsin passed the state Assembly recently.
Wieckert has been working on this legislation for six years. “This is a creative, thinking outside of the box type legislation. It is not just a dollars and cents spending program. It has taken a number of years for our legislators to realize the importance of creating a brand for Wisconsin. I am delighted to see it has received so much bi-partisan support.”
Wieckert noted that a number of prominent Wisconsin companies have been involved in advocating this legislation and have offered to help create a state brand just as these private companies have created their own brands to successfully promote their own companies.
Wieckert also noted that internationally recognized marketing firms have offered to help coordinate Wisconsin’s efforts. Wieckert reported that current regional efforts in Wisconsin to brand that particular part of the state and the Department of Tourism’s efforts would all work together in a supportive fashion helping to create a positive brand for Wisconsin.
Wieckert pointed out that the state already spends approximately $20 million a year in advertising sending out mixed messages about the state. Better coordinating these resources would be the first step in helping to develop a statewide brand.
Wieckert’s bill now goes to the Senate for further action.