In my humble opinion, no one in Wisconsin has done a better job exposing the corruption and “corporate welfare recipient” status of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) than State Senator Kathleen Vinehout. I’ll drop a few paragraphs of her classic essay on them in “Uppity Wisconsin” and you can click the link below to see the whole sordid story.
Just imagine what your local small start-up businesses struggling to get going, or your County, your School District, your Village, your Township, your City, could do with $472 million of wasted “economic development” money as you read. Senator Vinehout:
“TOTAL (through Aug. 1, 2016) $472.1 million
All of those award amounts are refundable tax credits. This means a company can claim the credit directly against taxes owed. If the company owes little or nothing in taxes and claims the credit, they can receive a payment from the state in the form of a refund.
Owing little or nothing in state taxes is made possible, in part, by changes in tax law for corporations that date back to 2011. Majority legislators passed the Manufacturing and Agriculture Tax Credit that resulted in very low tax liability for some. A recent study released by the Wisconsin Budget Project found most of this credit goes to reducing taxes for millionaires, including “some tax filers with incomes of over $1 million receiving tax cuts of more than $100,000.”
Don’t ever let any Republican politician tell you that “We’re broke” in Wisconsin. Not when we have this kind of money to toss at corporations with no expectation of accountability for it.