State Rep. Robert Turner, D-Racine, announced support for the state’s economic stimulus package being considered in the State Assembly today. Given the fact that the measure passed through the Joint Finance Committee with 12 Democrats voting in favor, and four Republicans voting nay, Turner's support should surprise no one.
“We are in the worst economic crisis in generations, and it is time to come together and make the tough choices that will help get our state economy moving again. We must pass this plan now to help remedy the unemployment and foreclosures that are affecting our friends, families and neighbors,” Turner said.
Turner stated that the stimulus package directs $300 million into Wisconsin’s transportation system to build and repair bridges and roads, a portion of which would be directed to the Interstate 94 reconstruction between Milwaukee and the state line. According to Turner, “we can put people to work right away to modernize our transit network and make needed improvements to our aging infrastructure.
“By passing the hospital assessment fee supported by Wisconsin hospitals, we can bring $400 million in Medicaid reimbursements back to Wisconsin over the next three years,” he said. Turner said Wisconsin was among the lowest states in the nation in federal spending. “Racine hospitals, in particular, have been hard hit because of the high amount of poor patients they treat. This results in cost shifting to other health care consumers in order to make up for historically low Medicaid reimbursements. We should get our fair share from Washington,” he said.
Turner said another part of the stimulus plan would close a tax loophole that benefits multi-state corporations at the expense of local businesses. Many large corporations hire tax attorneys who use gimmicks and tricks to avoid paying taxes. By closing this loophole, referred to as the “Las Vegas Loophole,” the state will require combined reporting of corporate income. So far, 21 states have closed this corporate loophole, including Michigan, Illinois, Minnesota, Texas, California and New York. “Closing corporate loopholes will bring tax fairness for working families and local businesses, and help close the budget deficit,” he said.
“I also support the stimulus plan’s requirement to apply the state sales tax to internet sales,” said Turner. “We must level the playing field for Wisconsin businesses in order to grow the economy.”