April 2022 Accelerate Magazine

There are many factors that go into a business’ decision about where to locate. Amid a significant workforce shortage, which is not projected to improve anytime soon, it’s more crucial than ever that states compete – not only for businesses, but for talent. When we take a step back to look at Wisconsin, how truly competitive is the state? What do we do well and where do we need to improve? What are other states around the country doing to win the war for talent and drive economic growth? TAXES The interconnectedness of taxes, policy and workforce is something state and business leaders are watching closely. “Taxes and tax policy impact everything,” said Samantha Metcalf, managing principal of private industries for CLA. “Tax policy has a direct impact on where people want to live, what the community and social system and lifestyle is like, and financial decisions that impact businesses such as expansion, investment, hiring, and more. States are in a war for talent. To continue driving economic growth, the states that win will be those that take a close look at tax and tax policy to continue to make them attractive to businesses and workers.” A recent proposal by the Wisconsin Center for Research on the Economy (CROWE) proposed eliminating Wisconsin’s personal income tax. While the income tax burden has fallen for Wisconsin taxpayers as a group, it is still relatively high compared to other states. (Wisconsin Policy Forum). Seven states (Washington, Nevada, Texas, Wyoming, South Dakota, Tennessee and Florida) don’t have an income tax at all. CROWE researcher Noah Williams states “even though the state has seen income COVER STORY SUZANNE KELLEY President & CEO Waukesha County Business Alliance, Inc. HOW COMPETITIVE IS WISCONSIN? WAUKESHA COUNTY BUSINESS ALLIANCE, INC. 16