Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Destroying Wisconsin’s business climate

Wow- that did not take long. Just eight short months into Governor Doyle’s new term in office and the democrat’s control of the state senate, we are already seeing signs of a weakening business climate in Wisconsin.

In Saturday’s Kenosha News, there were a lot of questions being asked as to why the Abbott Labs deal had not been approved.

From the beginning-

A couple of years ago- Abbott Labs bought some prime real estate on I-94. Since then, democrat politicians have been patting themselves on the back, talking about this wonderful deal with Abbott that will bring lots of jobs and tax revenue to Kenosha County. Even Governor Doyle was down here in early 2006 touting the 2500+ jobs he created in Kenosha County. The Governor even tossed $12.5 million worth or taxpayer dollars at Kenosha’s business leaders in order show how hard he was working to get this deal done. Local village board members also promised millions upon millions of dollars to Abbott in order to get the deal done.

For months and months, the Pleasant Prairie village administrator has been working with Abbott Labs in order to get this process moving forward. Finally the tax payers should get to take a look at the deal that will be costing us millions more tax dollars. Of course, all of the tax dollars may be worth it, if Abbott Labs makes a major move to Kenosha.

Finally, the deal is on paper and is ready to be presented to the Village of Pleasant Prairie board. It was placed on the agenda for 4 straight meetings starting in May. Now, the whole thing is currently on hold.

No one, not the village administration or Abbott Labs can give an answer as to what the hold up is on this project. The village administrators are hoping the deal gets presented sometime soon, Abbott Labs is hoping by the end of the year. The end of the year??

All of us taxpayers are left to question- what is taking so long? What is the problem? Everyone was ready to take step one in this long process, but now everything has slowly stopped.

I think the answer is staring us right in the face and we, as Wisconsinites, do not want to admit we have a problem.

The business climate in the state of Wisconsin is bad. Since Governor Doyle’s re-election and the democrats takeover of the state senate- the business climate has gotten worse.

Governor Doyle released his budget several months ago that included massive tax increases on Wisconsin businesses. To make matters worse, the state senate democrats followed up the governor’s tax increases by not only passing the massive tax increases proposed by the governor, but they added an additional $90 million in taxes on businesses.

Of course the Governor and the Democrats have made no secret of how they feel about the pharmaceutical companies. They hate them.

By the way, let us not forget about the 1% tax increase that the Governor and the Democrats are seeking on hospitals. Abbott Labs can count on being blamed, just like the hospitals, for the increased health care costs in Wisconsin.

This is the business environment that Abbott Labs has to live with if they choose to move into Kenosha County. They get to face massive tax increases, animosity towards pharmaceutical companies, plus they will take part of the blame for the increased prices in hospital care- even though it is the Democrats who are increasing the taxes on hospitals.

Speaking of health care, there is not bigger disincentive for Abbott Labs moving to Pleasant Prairie than the Democrat’s Healthy Wisconsin.

As I have already pointed out, if Healthy Wisconsin passes, than all Illinois businesses that has employees that live in Wisconsin, will pay absolutely nothing in Health Care costs for these employees.

Thousands of Wisconsin residents work at Abbott Labs in Illinois. As long as Abbott Labs does not move their business to the state of Wisconsin- they will save millions upon millions of dollars in health care costs, because of the horrific Healthy Wisconsin.

State Senator Bob Wirch, a resident of Pleasant Prairie, WI, and a huge advocate for Healthy Wisconsin, could very well be one of the reasons why Abbott Labs will never move to Kenosha County Wisconsin.

How about State Representative John Steinbrink part in this? He not only represents Pleasant Prairie in our state assembly, he is also the Village President of Pleasant Prairie. Even as he is working to get Abbott Labs to move to his area of Wisconsin, he is also supporting massive tax increases on Wisconsin businesses.

Talk about two faced- these two men who are representing the area that Abbott Labs in considering moving to, could very well be the reason Abbott Labs does not move to Wisconsin.

Figure that one out.

Why in heaven’s name would Abbott Labs choose to walk into Wisconsin’s business climate? It will cost them millions in excessive taxes, the democrat elected representative will treat them like garbage, and they will have to spend millions of extra money in health care for their employees.

It is no wonder that Abbott Labs is sitting on this deal until the end of the year. They want to know what Wisconsin can offer them, as far as a business climate is concerned.

The frustrating part about this is that Wisconsin taxpayers have already paid $12.5 million to make this deal happen, and so far, we are no closer today than we were the day Abbott Labs bought the real estate.

Our legislators and the governor need to understand that people are watching them. It is their responsibility to create a positive business environment.

There could be a million reasons why Abbott Labs and Pleasant Prairie cannot get this deal done.

However, anyone looking at this call clearly see that the Governor and the state democrats actually destroying Wisconsin's business climate and are creating reasons for companies NOT to move their businesses here.


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