Wisconsin Governor Gives Special Handout to Company Via Tax Code

September 26, 2007

Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle is hard to figure out when it comes to tax policy. His idea of sound tax policy appears to be his picking and choosing who he likes and who he doesn’t like and forming tax policy based upon that.

The governor doesn’t like smokers as he has repeatedly called for excessive cigarette tax hikes in the state. This past year, he called for a special tax on oil companies (that could somehow not legally be passed on to the consumer). And he’s also called for a special tax on hospitals. But he’s also the first to roll out credits for companies that he likes. Another example from WISC-TV:

Logistics Health is getting state tax credits to help it expand and create several hundred new jobs.

Gov. Jim Doyle announced nearly $2 million in tax credits Tuesday in La Crosse.

Logistics Health CEO Don Weber said that 350 new jobs will likely be filled by 2009. It will nearly double its current workforce.

Logistics Health said it plans to use the tax credits to leverage $19 million for a new building and equipment.

There is a term that economists have for when government uses its levers (either tax, spending, or regulatory) in order to pick and choose who they want to give special treatment to and who they want to attack; it’s called central planning. And it’s hard to find a bigger practitioner of it than Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle.

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