Walker talks economic development in Sparta

2013-03-04T11:22:00Z Walker talks economic development in SpartaBy Jourdan Vian, Reporter La Crosse Tribune
March 04, 2013 11:22 am  • 

SPARTA—Governor Scott Walker promoted his 2013-15 proposed budget's impact on economic development in Monroe County Thursday.

The governor spoke to local elected officials and business owners at the Exploring Regional Economic Opportunities conference at Colonial Banquet Center in Sparta.

Many of his proposals are designed to allow businesses to create more jobs in Wisconsin, Walker said.

"We understand fundamentally that the government doesn't create jobs, you do, the people of Wisconsin," Walker said.

Jobs are created by business-owners and entrepreneurs. The government’s role is to make it as easy as possible, he said.

"What we're trying to do is create a more positive, beneficial environment for you, the job creators of the state," Walker said.

Low taxes are a major component of keeping Wisconsin competitive and creating a positive environment for businesses, he said.

"In this budget, we provide $630 million worth of tax relief," Walker said.

Approximately half are cuts to individual income tax. The average family will pay approximately $100 less income tax under the proposed budget. Not only will that benefit individuals but it will also benefit small businesses in Monroe County and throughout the state, Walker said.

"That's more money in your pocket. More importantly for a business that means more often than not that that's more money you invest in your business… That means you are putting more people to work," Walker said.

The budget will also reduce taxes on manufacturers and agricultural-based interests in the state to give them more money to invest in their businesses.

By 2015 manufacturing and agricultural businesses will see a tax credit of 7.5 percent, Walker said.

"That's incredibly important because it frees you up as employers in those categories to put more of that money back into investments that will allow you to improve your technology, your productivity and your innovation that allows us to compete not just as a state, but allows you as employers to compete with anybody in the world," Walker said.

Walker is particularly concerned with helping start-up companies, he said.

"Increasingly the economists tell us that the net new jobs are going to come from new, emerging companies," Walker said.

Walker's budget sets aside $25 million in investment capital to help entrepreneurs fund new businesses in Wisconsin through several different programs.

"We're not going to be the sole funding source, but we can certainly help bridge the gap with other traditional financial institutions: banks, credit unions and others that help provide loans for employers in the state," Walker said.

Walker also advocated investing in the state's infrastructure. His budget includes $6.4 billion worth of investments in the state's roads, bridges and freight routes, he said.

Additional investments in freight rail will pay off for Monroe County, especially with the frac sand mine boom in the area, Walker said.

"It makes it a lot easier. It makes it a lot more environmentally sound, if there's more ports off of that because you can connect it right there and not put as much burden on county and town roads and things of that nature," Walker said.

Investing in infrastructure will also create more jobs in the area.

Copyright 2015 La Crosse Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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