Friday, February 13, 2009

State Agencies Support Special Interest Group Opposed To Closing Tax Loophole

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.

WDC found the state Department of Financial Institutions, the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority, UW-Madison’s Office of Corporate Relations, the University Research Park, the UW-Extension’s Center for Community Economic Development and the Wisconsin Technical College System are among the backers of a group called the Wisconsin Economic Development Association.

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.


Anonymous said...

If all the people who know something about economic development agree that this is a bad proposal, doesn't that make you wonder if your perception might be flawed?

Anonymous said...

The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign is flawed.

They should disclose all of their donors... oh, but that's none of our business.

Anonymous said...

Wow, raising taxes on the job creators during recession must REALLY be a bad idea. Thanks for the usual deep analysis, Mike!

Anonymous said...

Why would a bank take ANY risk if it would lose its priority?

You folks aren't thinking this through. If Senate Bill 2 is enacted only financially-secure businesses will ever get credit.

The current law was negotiated during Governor Doyle's first term. It was acceptable to labor then. Why the need to change now?

This isn't well thought out, folks!

Anonymous said...

Leave it to the snark peddlers to miss the point of the original post entirely. It seems obvious to all but the four commenters that this blog item isn't focusing on the merits of the governor's proposals but rather the irony (and perhaps the propriety) of the state's left hand (state agencies) working against the right hand (Doyle).

If you could see through the cloud of your irrational fears and boundless anger, you'd find something really funny in this post.