General Election Matchups Are Set . . . Almost
By Tom Larson
After Tuesday’s primary election, the matchups for the general election on November 4th are set for all but a few races which are still undecided due to narrow margins of victories and likely recounts. At the top of the ticket and to nobody’s surprise, Mary Burke defeated Representative Brett Hulsey in the Democratic primary and will take on Governor Scott Walker in what will likely be a close race.
The other high-profile statewide election will be for Attorney General, in which Republican Brad Schimel (Waukesha District Attorney) will face Democrat Susan Happ (Jefferson County District Attorney). Happ defeated both Representative John Richards (Milwaukee) and Ishmael Ozanne (Dane County District Attorney) with a sizable margin of victory (52% to 33% and 15%, respectively). Because of Happ’s strong showing in the primary election, Democrats are hoping that she will energize the base and boost voter turnout to help Mary Burke and other Democrats on the ballot in other parts of the state.
One of the other noteworthy stories of Tuesday’s election is the narrow margin of victories and possible recounts in 3 different races. In the 6th Congressional District’s GOP primary, state Senator Glenn Grothman currently leads state Senator Joe Leibham by 215 votes before all absentee ballots have been counted. In the 87th Assembly District (northern Wisconsin), Michael Bub leads James Edming by only 3 votes in the GOP primary. Finally, in the 17th Senate District (southwestern Wisconsin), Ernie Wittwer leads Pat Bomhack by only 2 votes in the Democratic primary. Because of the small margins of victory, all of the races will likely trigger a recount to make sure all of the votes were counted correctly. The recounts will likely take at least a week to complete, which means the final winner in these primary will not be determined for awhile.
New Changes to Tax Credit Program Allows Transfers of Tax Credits
Earlier this year, Wisconsin lawmakers enacted a new law (2013 Wis. Act 184) that allows greater flexibility and functionality to Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation’s (WEDC) existing tax credit program and aims to encourage economic development and improve the tax climate for Wisconsin businesses.
In the past, WEDC’s Wisconsin Economic Development Tax Credit program had only marginal value to many Wisconsin companies. The tax credits, which are awarded based upon a variety of factors measuring the level of economic development to be generated by the business, could be used to reduce Wisconsin taxable income, but were nonrefundable. If a company was unable to utilize the full amount of the credit to offset Wisconsin taxable income, it’s only option was to carry forward the credit up to 15 years. Thus, if the company did not have income to offset with the credit during this time, the credit would expire.
Under the new law, WEDC is authorized to approve the transfer of these tax credits to another business or entity. This request for a transfer must be requested by the applicant on its initial application to WEDC for the tax credits, and the application must identify the intended transferee. The only other restrictions on the transfer are that the transfer must be for some consideration other than money, and must be in connection with the business activity of the applicant underwriting the award of these tax credits.
The ability to transfer these tax credits will make the program much more attractive to companies that currently are unable to use the credits to offset taxable WEDC believes this will be very attractive to start up companies, which often take several years to generate taxable income.
Under this program, WEDC is authorized to grant $36 million in tax credits to companies during the 2014 fiscal year and up to $15 million in transfers during the next 3 years. Moreover, transfers of the credits is capped at $500,000 per project.
New Feature: Political Fundraisers
NAIOP will be posting upcoming fundraisers that we are aware of for the benefit of our members. The list is obtained from the Wisconsin Realtors Association and is not to be considered a recommendation or endorsement by NAIOP Wisconsin.