Phil Hauck's TEC Blog

Sunday, September 12, 2010

What Must Wisconsin Do To Stimulate The Economy ...

One way of looking at it:
If creating jobs is so important, why aren’t our governments putting in place initiatives that will do so, with enthusiasm!
For several years back in the late 1980s, Wisconsin ranked in the top three states for job creation. Now, it is back to well back in the pack ... and more than a few companies have moved operations out of Wisconsin to other, more inviting states.
Why can’t we be one of those inviting states ... especially considering that wherever business people go, others extoll the virtues of the upper Midwest work ethic.
There are several factors that keep businesses from expanding here or moving here:
1. We are not a Right To Work State. We’re heavily unionized, and they don’t want to run their businesses with a third party approving decisions.
2. We’ve got higher business taxes than the others (14th highest).
3. It still takes too long (longer than elsewhere) to get permitting to build a facility here.
4. Energy costs are still high.
5. Other states are more aggressive with incentives.
For a good example, Google Texas’ initiatives (or Georgia’s) which are receiving much publicity lately and are yielding much relative job growth. Texas’ income is largely from a sales tax, because there is no state income or property tax, for instance.
Why is this important? According to Fred Monique, GB Chamber VP of economic development, here are the corporate priorities in selecting an epansion location:
Highest: Income tax ranking.
High: College attainment, Right to Work, Individual income tax ranking, and Business inventory tax.
Here in Wisconsin, business research and economic development groups have made strong recommendations that don’t get much attention ... despite lipservice by politicians.
Here’s the website of a very recent set of recommendations (Be Bold Wisconsin) by a very distinguished list of Wisconsin economic organizations:
The recommendations they are proposing can be a great set of questions for candidates this Fall.

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