Monday, March 10, 2014

Corporate Freeloaders blame minimum wage for market distortions? State Handouts the Real Culprit.

Fox 6 reporter Mike Lowe exposes Wisconsin corporate welfare at its worst. But the problem is here to stay, as states compete with taxpayer incentives to bring in those "free market" businesses. Since corporate welfare is a market distortion businesses can't do without, why can't we have market distortions like regulations, higher minimum wages and benefits?

WITI:  The state government, led by Gov. Scott Walker, has adopted a pro-business agenda — giving businesses tax incentives, low interest loans and cash. But in an era where the budget has seen deep cuts to education, healthcare and workers benefits, are companies paying their fair share?

In 2009, Mercury Marine, a boat engine company was trying to stay afloat in hard times. It was threatening to move one thousand jobs to Stillwater, Oklahoma if it didn’t get concessions from its labor force and aid from the government. But, then-Governor Jim Doyle stepped in, offering a package of incentives worth $70 million. Fond du Lac County passed a sales tax increase to pay an additional $50 million to the company, and the strapped-for-cash City of Fond du Lac added $3 million.The union gave in to political pressure ... Mercury Marine announced it would stay in fond du lac. At the time, politicians were warning that Wisconsin’s heavy tax burden was driving companies like Mercury Marine out of the state.  So FOX6 News requested – and  examined — records from the Wisconsin Department of Revenue.

Mercury Marine is a subsidiary of the Brunswick Corporation, which, FOX6 News found has had not paid a single cent in corporate income taxes to Wisconsin since at least 2000. Jack Norman, a researcher who studies corporate tax issues said “They were — in a sense — blackmailing Fond du Lac County, blackmailing the state of Wisconsin.

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