Two state agencies, parts of the University of Wisconsin System and the state’s technical college system are among the financial sponsors of a special interest lobby group that wants to protect a state business tax loophole and opposes a legislative proposal to require workers’ wage claims be paid ahead of debts owed to banks by bankrupt businesses.
The association, a registered lobbying organization, describes itself as a nonprofit group dedicated to expanding the state’s economy. “It is critical that the collective voice of economic development professionals is heard as public policy matters affecting our economy and workforce are debated and acted upon,” according to its website.
The state agencies, UW and technical colleges are among dozens of businesses and trade associations that pay varying amounts to support the lobby group. The UW-Madison Office of Corporate Relations is listed as a silver sponsor at $3,500. The UW-Extension’s economic development center and the Department of Financial Institutions are listed as bronze sponsors at $1,500 each and the University Research Park, Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority and Wisconsin Technical College System are associate sponsors at $500 each.
The association is among 17 bank, business, insurance and trade groups in a front group called the Coalition to Save Wisconsin Jobs that recently said it will fight Governor Jim Doyle's plan to enact a new $94 million a year business tax - called combined reporting - as part of Doyle's state stimulus package.