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Commerce officals cites incentives for attracting companies to state

A top state official takes issue with business leaders who say the new state budget will drive companies out of Wisconsin.

Executive commerce assistant Zach Brandon says the claim that the budget takes an unfair bite out of corporations quote, "doesn't match reality."

Brandon cites a host of incentives for creating jobs and boosting high-tech entrepreneurship.

They include improved tax credits for building or expanding industries in enterprise zones and a full tax exemption on capital gains for investments in start-up companies.

Brandon says those incentives have already paid off.

He said they encouraged the Minneapolis bio-tech firm of Vital-Medix to move to Wisconsin.

Jim Buchen of the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce group says they're great incentives.

But he still believes the state took a big step backward by raising income taxes in a new high-income bracket, cutting the general tax break for capital gains by 50 percent and changing tax reporting requirements for multi-state businesses that raised corporate taxes in the state by millions of dollars.

Todd Berry of the Taxpayers' Alliance says the budget could move Wisconsin back into the Top 10 of the highest-taxed states. We're now 11th.

But commerce official Brandon says it's "erroneous" that taxes are a major factor in whether to do business in the state.

He cites the quality of the workforce, and Wisconsin's access to markets and customers.