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Entrepreneur Group Says Changes in Wisconsin Positive for Business Formation and Growth

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OAKTON, Va., Feb. 1, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Today, the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) highlighted pro-entrepreneur policy changes in Wisconsin that will help to improve the state’s competitiveness and environment for small business.

SBE Council President & CEO Karen Kerrigan observed: “Real, pro-small business policy changes are happening in Wisconsin right now.  Recent health care changes will make coverage more affordable, and Governor Scott Walker’s pledge to reduce spending rather than raise taxes is an important step toward advancing future tax reform measures.  The tax deduction for health savings accounts that was signed into law will work in favor of expanding coverage choices, and reducing costs for small business owners.”

The Governor also created an Office of Free Market Health Care. Among its duties are assessing the effects of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on the state’s health insurance market, and exploring options that align the Governor’s market-oriented approach with the mandate that states create health insurance exchanges.

Kerrigan added: “The new federal health care law is overwhelmingly costly for small businesses.  More regulation and mandates for business mean less flexibility and capital to grow and create jobs. Unfortunately, even the insurance exchanges in the new law amount to vehicles for regulation.  Governor Walker’s emphasis on a market-oriented approach, assessing the costs of the health care law, and trying to find ways to limit those costs is on target.”

The Governor also signed a tort reform bill that limits punitive damages, and expands to nursing homes the existing limits on noneconomic damages in medical malpractice suits. SBE Council chief economist Raymond J. Keating noted: “In our litigious society, lawsuits, the threat of lawsuits, and looming massive damages often wind up being completely disconnected from reality. Limiting potential tort damages is a positive for investment and jobs.”

On the tax front, Governor Walker signed a Relocation Tax Credit into law, which eliminates income and franchise taxes for two years on a business moving to Wisconsin that has not conducted business in the state for at least two years. Keating said, “The Relocation Tax Credit is a sound step in the right direction. But it’s critical that taxes be permanently reduced for entrepreneurs and businesses across the board in order to spur long-term growth and job creation.”

In the latest edition of SBE Council’s “Small Business Survival Index” released on December 9, 2010, which ranks the 50 states and District of Columbia according to their public policy climates for small business, Wisconsin ranked 31st.

Keating concluded: “The policy changes enacted under Governor Walker’s leadership will boost Wisconsin’s competitive position.”

To access the Small Business Survival Index 2010, please visit:

http://www.sbecouncil.org/survivalindex2010/ .

SBE Council is a nonpartisan, nonprofit small business advocacy group that works to protect small business and promote entrepreneurship.  For more information, please visit: www.sbecouncil.org.

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