2.12.2009

Want to create jobs? Just tax the hell out of businesses!

Which is apparently how Governor Doyle plans to "fix" our state's economy and fill the budget deficit. Once again, his incompetence is astounding.

While there are some nice tax incentives in the Governor's plan for nanotechnology and green energy and things like that; as far as existing business and industry goes, they get very little. And the tax incentives are dwarfed by the tax increases.

In the plan are two tax increases that could have a very costly impact on businesses in the state. The first is the Main Street Equity Act - sounds nice doesn't it. Under the act, "all prewritten computer software packages are subject to the sales tax" which would increase taxes collected an estimated $61.3 million. Another provision in the act would extend the sales tax to digital personal property if the "tangible" personal property would also be subject to taxes. That amounts to another $10.9 million for the state.

Once again, the Democrats' answer to finding something not already taxed is to tax the hell out of it. My question though, is how does increasing the number of things subject to taxes help "main street" businesses? Wouldn't it simply make the products that much more expensive for consumers, thus making them go elsewhere - such as online - to find the products they are looking for?

Plain and simple, making things more expensive during a recession is the wrong thing to do.

The other major tax increase in the "stimulus" proposal is to subject corporate income to combined reporting. this one move by the state government would increase taxes on businesses in Wisconsin by $187.3 million in the 2009-2011 biennium. It is reasonable to assume that the result of this kind of tax increase will result in one of two things happening: 1) the businesses effected by this tax will pass the cost on to consumers, thus inflating prices; or 2) many corporate headquarters will move out of Wisconsin, taking their jobs with them. Take your pick.

I know that there is more to the plan and once I've had the time to go through it more thoroughly I'll have much more to say. But for now, all I have to say is that once again the Governor has failed to offer any real leadership in this current crisis.