Kahl Campaign: Economy and Jobs Policy Statement

Monday, May 14th, 2012 @ 11:20AM

Kahl Campaign: Economy and Jobs Policy Statement


(Monona, WI)  Robb Kahl, Democratic candidate for the 47th Assembly District and former Monona Mayor, unveiled his economy and jobs policy position today.

Advance Wisconsin’s Agriculture and BioScience Industries.  In partnership with the University of Wisconsin system and local governments, we must work to advance technological incubators to create the next generation of jobs related to agriculture, biotechnology, food science, stem cells and sustainability.   We should pursue legislation like the “Next Generation Jobs Bill,” which will capture the growth in income tax revenues generated by employees in these industries and transfer that growth into a segregated account to be used specifically to fund business development in this sector.

Create the Wisconsin Venture Capital Fund.  Over 80% of the jobs in our country are created by small businesses.  We must provide the seed money and partner with entrepreneurs looking to start a business and create jobs in Wisconsin.  To enable these small businesses and institutional lenders to get a business from the drawing board to reality, the state must encourage and invest in economic development and jobs.

Invest in Technology and Green Jobs. Wisconsin has great potential to create green jobs of the future. Many of these jobs involve some task that will improve the environment, like reducing carbon emissions and creating and/or using energy more efficiently. Most of these jobs, like those in wind and biomass energy, require more than a high school education, but less than a four-year degree. A wise taxpayer investment in business and workforce development would promote green job innovation and skills, so that Wisconsin can gradually reduce the billions of energy-related dollars it sends out of state each year.

Support Skill Training for Employment. Restore $71.6 million in deep cuts that were made to the Wisconsin Technical College System in the last state budget. The state’s technical education system provides essential skill training for Wisconsin’s workforce and makes a vital contribution toward economic recovery.

Invest in Infrastructure. Wisconsin would benefit from substantial infrastructure investment and job creation that would result from a commitment to highway, transit, rail, school and aviation modernization.  We must also partner with our local government partners to invest in our public service employees that work jobs in areas like education, police or fire services.

Insist on Corporate Accountability to Taxpayers. All grants, loans, subsidies, tax breaks, tax incentives and other financial assistance offered to businesses which represent an actual or potential loss to the state or local treasury must include accountability standards. Government has a role in aiding economic development, and when done right, it will benefit communities by helping to create or retain jobs. It is only fair that the state requires stringent accountability standards for businesses to justify specific public investments.

Enhance Partnerships with Local Governments.  Current economic development programs utilized by local government, like Tax Incremental Financing, the Transportation Economic Assistance Program, and Community Development Block Grants, should be expanded to provide greater flexibility and enhanced state participation to allow local communities to reinvigorate commercial and residential properties.  This will in turn create jobs while improving these communities and increasing their tax bases.

Repeal New Corporate Tax Breaks and Reduce Scope of Property Tax Exemptions. Massive new tax breaks that total $2.3 billion over ten years were enacted in the last legislative session.  This was done at the same time we made the deepest cuts to public education in Wisconsin’s history and forced extreme cuts to services in local communities. Additionally, increases in property tax exemptions over the years have contributed to unfairly shifting more of the burden of paying for municipal services onto homeowners. In 1970, residential owners paid 50.6% of all property taxes in Wisconsin. Today, homeowners pay over 71%.  If left in place, these deep corporate tax cuts and expanded property tax exemptions amount to a substantial loss to the state and local treasury that will require still deeper budget cuts, or a greater shift in the cost of public services and education to individual taxpayers.

Eliminate a Business Tax Deduction for Moving Jobs Out of State. Under current law, the expenses that a company incurs for moving jobs to another state or country can be deducted as a business expense when determining state tax liability. The state should not reward businesses in any way for eliminating Wisconsin jobs.

The 47th Assembly District covers all of McFarland and Monona and parts of Fitchburg and Madison.  It also encompasses all or part of the towns of Cottage Grove, Blooming Grove, Dunn and Madison.



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