WPT has become the largest non-partisan voice in Wisconsin because results matter. We don't take credit for this success. We acknowledge you our member for hiring WPT to be your voice. Without 18,000 of you backing us up, we wouldn't accomplish much. What we take credit for is a willingness to listen and then the fortitude to pound the pavement spreading a message of fairness and reform. We participate in the affairs of government because we love and admire this great state. We know if Wisconsin improves it's tax climate, we will have an economy that can provide the financial resources necessary to take great care of it's citizens. A state where our children not only receive a great education, but have a job offer from a Wisconsin business upon graduation. A state where its residence don't require much public assistance because they have an opportunity to earn a sufficient livelihood. When you look at where the jobs in our country are being created, you discover states with the highest property taxes are at the bottom. We need a system of taxation which will promote and create jobs. We need reforms in policy that don't discourage and hinder economic growth. We can have a Wisconsin who takes care of the environment, protects it's resources, educates it's citizenry and provides great services, but it must take care of the private sector first. It needs the private sector to generate the economy so it can accomplish all those things. If not, our tax rates will be outrageous or our services jeopardized. Neither will lead to greatness. Thanks for trusting us with your money to accomplish great things for Wisconsin.
When I became President of WPT three years ago, I vowed to do whatever was required in lobbying commitment to accomplish our objectives. As we conclude this legislative session and I look at our accomplishments, which are summarized in the newsletter, it was time and money well spent. We make decisions to spend money on our businesses every day and we hope the decisions we make are the right ones. I’m proud to tell you, the investment you made into your business by joining WPT was money well spent. It doesn’t always produce the jaw dropping returns we achieved this year, but being an active participant in your businesses future success is always better than letting fate control the outcome.
How did we achieve our goals and objectives? WPT determined success was only going to be reached if the economy grew. In order for the economy to grow, business and industry in multiple sectors must have confidence to expand their operations and hire new employees. You may wonder what growing the economy has to do with taxes. The short answer is everything. It’s much easier for the private sector to invest into the public sector when it has the ways and means to do so. Business and Industry recognize the value of education, the importance of a sound infrastructure and providing for the needs of those less fortunate, but without the prosperity a strong economy produces, the resources aren’t there to meet those needs. The public sector can’t have what the private sector doesn’t have to give. The improving economy produced more revenue than what Wisconsin had been budgeted to spend. In other words, Wisconsin lived within its means and budgeted conservatively. Fortunately the temptation to spend the surplus was subdued by the desire to invest in economic growth and you’re the best instrument for economic growth there is.
What do we do next or how do we grow from here? WPT calls for eliminating the personal property tax on goods, equipment and machinery you need to operate your business. If job creation is the nucleus of a prosperous economy, then providing business and industry with the incentive to reinvest in equipment is the first step toward creating the job to operate the equipment.
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You may have heard the reference Wisconsin’s brain drain. That’s where many of the young adults we educate go find jobs in another state upon graduation. How about we reverse this trend and become the brain gain. Wisconsin has so many positive things going for
itself. We have an educated workforce, abundant resources, a diversified culture and an entrepreneurial spirit. If we build a foundation that nurtures job growth, I believe they will come and stay. States with the largest, most skilled workforce will be tomorrow’s winners. We’ve got the workforce, now let’s create the jobs. This is not a partisan issue. Both Democrats and Republicans love to tout their desire to create jobs. Well this is their opportunity.
In closing thanks for supporting our work. I’ve included in this newsletter the final breakdown of lobbying expenditures from 2013. You will once again see WPT at the top of the list. No one worked longer and harder. No one committed more of their resources to lobbying than WPT. Over 65% of the money we spent last year was spent on lobbying. We put your money where our mouth is. Although I realize you invest lobbying money in WPT because you lack the time to lobby for yourself, I can’t stress enough the importance of letting your representatives know you support the WPT Agenda for Success. During the months ahead many of them will be seeking you out because they want your vote this fall. Let them know, you can count on us if we can count on you. Unfortunately during this past session lawmakers passed a measure which will allow lobbyists to make donations while future sessions are in progress. WPT boldly spoke up against this measure because it shouldn’t be about the money I can raise. It should be about the electorate I can represent. There’s way too much money in the election process already. Working hard we’ll do, buying their vote we won’t! Speaking of hard work, there’s a new section; Get to know your WPT Rep, in this newsletter. I’m so proud of the grassroots lobbying work your member rep does. Now you can find out why they do it and whether they have time for anything else. Please enjoy the the website.