Madison Capital Times: Wisconsin business owners join national call to raise corporate taxes

By Mike Ivey
Madison Capital Times, Dec. 23, 2012

When it comes to discussion about the looming “fiscal cliff,” publishing company owner Paul Tabili of Racine is tired of the claim from the right that taxes are related to the number of jobs.

“As a business owner for the past 12 years I can tell you this: Hiring isn’t tied to any tax rate, it’s tied to demand for your product,” says Tabili, owner of New Paradigm Graphics Inc., a family-owned business with two employees. ...

Tabili is one of 600 business owners and executives nationwide urging a “Plan C” to break the impasse in Washington. Their plan — a take-off on House Speaker John Boehner’s ill-fated “Plan B” that would have reserved tax breaks for those making under $1 million — involves closing corporate tax loopholes and raising corporate taxes above today’s historically low levels.

The Plan C was organized through the American Sustainable Business Council, Business for Shared Prosperity and the Main Street Alliance, three progressive business organizations that have been urging “a tax system that is fair and provides sufficient revenue for the public services and infrastructure that underpin our economy,” according to a statement released last week.

Their argument is that when powerful, large U.S. corporations are able to skirt taxes with loopholes or off-shore shelters, it undermines competitiveness and shifts more of the tax burden to small businesses, which are creating most of the jobs.

A dozen Wisconsin business owners have signed on to the effort, including Tammy Wolfgram, manager and owner of Songbird Hills Golf Club in Hartland.

Wolfgram says she got involved in Business for Shared Prosperity because other business organizations seemed too conservative and were simply mouthing the anti-tax rhetoric.

“I don’t need a tax cut, I need more people coming through the door,” says Wolfgram, who says the golfing industry has taken a hit both with the recession and the cuts to public worker take-home pay in Wisconsin.

“If you have less money in your pocket, the golf league is the first thing that goes,”she says. ...

“When you say small business, most people think of the mom-and-pop operation, which certainly applies to us,” says Wolfgram, 56, whose parents built the course as a dream after working in public education their entire careers.

Racine business owner Tabili says he got involved with Business for Shared Prosperity because he was tired of hearing wealthy business owners complain about their tax burden.

“Honestly, I’ve really become disheartened over how selfish people have gotten,” says Tabili. “Nobody does it alone in this country and those who have done well have an obligation to give back.” ...

The entire list of business signers is available here.

Copyright 2012 Madison Capital Times

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