Another day, another Special Session bill heads to Governor Scott Walker’s desk for his signature. Thursday saw the state Senate approve a measure which provides a tax exemption for businesses that add new jobs. “I would argue that even in a depressed economy, employers face a variety of economic situations, some employers will expand to even a small marginal reduction in the cost of hiring,” said the bill’s author, Chippewa Falls Republican Terry Moulton.
But Democrats argued the exemption – of between $92 and $316 per job – isn’t enough to really encourage job growth. Poplar Democrat Bob Jauch said the bill’s estimated cost of $67 million adds to the state’s fiscal woes. “Basically what we’re doing is creating another $67 million hole, adding to the deficit that we already are experiencing, making it harder for the new governor to actually be able to present a balanced budget,” said Minority Leader Mark Miller of Monona.
“Wisconsin is facing a three billion dollar structural deficit. This bill and the other bills dig that deficit deeper, to the tune of $157 million more,” said Poplar Democrat Bob Jauch. Senator Jim Holperin was among the four Democrats who voted for the bill, but he said it “screwed small businesses” and was “all about marketing” rather than real economic development.