Boots & Sabers

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1152, 14 Jun 15

Startups in Wisconsin

Tom Still takes a look at the environment for startups in Wisconsin. He has some good points.

There are some regulatory and tax hurdles, as well. Wisconsin treats startup companies pretty much the same as major firms in some critical areas, such as taxes on “paid-in capital.” Certain types of young, pre-revenue companies in Wisconsin pay a state tax on venture capital raised – a sore point for investors and unique among the states.

And while the rate of business creation in Wisconsin is lower than in other states, the survival rate appears to be higher. Maybe that’s a credit to Midwestern work ethics combined with a culture of fiscal conservatism, but it’s also a tribute to a support structure that wasn’t in place 10 years ago.

For Wisconsin to truly become a startup state, policymakers must confront the overall development strategy. Is Wisconsin more intent on raiding Illinois for business relocations or growing its own? So long as it’s the former and not the latter, expect to stay near the bottom in most startup rankings.


1152, 14 June 2015


  1. Kevin Scheunemann

    Liberal war on small business still lingers despite Walker rolling some if it back.

    Republicans need to do more to roll back the liberal hate of prosperity.

  2. scott

    Nonsense, Kevin. I’m as liberal as they come and I’m all for nurturing startup businesses.

  3. Kevin scheunemann


    I’m interested, how? (I hope its more than dishing out special government largesse to political connected to corrupt politicians like Hillary…)

  4. scott

    I don’t know. How about start with giving them a break on that state tax on capital raises? I’m just saying in principle: I’m all for having a nurturing regulatory and tax environment for entrepreneurs.

    What I’m definitely not for is similar breaks and giveaways to big, established business that don’t need it but have the political clout to get it anyway. Nor am I for the people who regularly conflate the two, such as those who claim estate taxes impact family farms, etc.

  5. Kevin scheunemann


    Don’t disagree with idea, but that is not a traditional liberal proposal. Tax cuts/breaks for start ups is more a conservative idea/proposal.

  6. Owen

    It doesn’t do any good to argue over whether it is a liberal or conservative idea. Let’s argue about whether it is a good or bad idea. I agree with Scott… it’s a good idea.

  7. Jadedly Unbiased

    A refreshing voice of reason. I also think it’s a good idea.

  8. Kevin scheunemann

    Agreement all around….so why can’t we get bipartisan support to fix this important economic development issue?

  9. scott

    Interesting question. Who might have an interest in keeping things otherwise? I’m guessing either no one, and that all we have to do is find a willing legislator to propose it…or it’s those larger, established businesses who’d rather do without upstart competition.

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