MADISON – Gov. Jim Doyle’s proposals to spur investment in start-up companies in Wisconsin are consistent with recent recommendations by the non-profit Wisconsin Technology Council, Tech Council President Tom Still said Monday.

“Through his Accelerate Wisconsin package, Gov. Doyle is working to increase investment in the state’s high-growth companies. He deserves credit for focusing on the state’s emerging economy,” Still said. 

Accelerate Wisconsin builds on the success of Act 255, a collection of tax credits, grants and loans to support start-up companies and attracting angel and venture capital investment. The Tech Council manages the Wisconsin Angel Network and is involved in other efforts to increase the supply of private-equity capital in Wisconsin.

Doyle’s plan, which will be submitted to the Wisconsin Legislature for debate and possible action early this year, includes:

·        A capital gains tax initiative that will allow individuals, partnerships and limited liability corporations a limited 100 percent capital gains exclusion of up to $10 million for long-term capital gains reinvested in qualifying Wisconsin businesses.
·        A doubling of technology grants and loans through the Wisconsin Department of Commerce, from $2.5 million to $5 million per year.
·        Changes in the law governing state tax credits for investors who invest in qualified start-up companies. Under Doyle’s proposal, start-up companies could receive up to $4 million in tax-creditable investments from any combination of angel or venture investors. Current law contains specific caps related to the type of private equity investment.

The state budget passed by the Legislature and signed by Doyle last fall increased the total amount of investment tax credits available to angel and tax investors. The governor’s latest proposal would not increase that amount, but offer more flexibility in how the credits are used.

“Each of the governor’s latest proposals is consistent with recommendations by the Tech Council in our ‘white paper’ reports to the governor and the Legislature,” Still said. “The capital gains initiative, in particular, has the potential to unlock money that will be redirected to high-growth investments in Wisconsin.”

The Tech Council is the non-profit and non-partisan science and tech policy advisers to the governor and the Legislature. Doyle will address the Tech Council’s board of directors Tuesday in Milwaukee to continue unveiling his economic growth proposals.