Wisconsin Technology Council: State Senate Joins Assembly in Unanimous Support for Improved Wisconsin Investor Tax Credit Law
MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Senate voted, 33 to 0, on Tuesday to approve Assembly Bill 759, which will make it easier for start-up companies to stay in Wisconsin as they grow and create jobs while extending beyond its borders.
The effort to pass the bill was led by the Wisconsin Technology Council. Previously, it had passed unanimously in the 99-seat Assembly. It will now go to Governor Tony Evers for his review and possible signing into law.
The bill amends Wisconsin’s “Qualified New Business Venture” law, which went into effect in January 2005 and remains a leading bipartisan example of how to carefully leverage state tax credits for angel and venture capitalists who risk money in startups and emerging companies.
Under this law, accredited investors can obtain a 25% tax credit on investments in QNBV companies that meet a prescribed set of conditions, including retaining 51% of their employees and a registered office in Wisconsin. . Over time, the law has led to hundreds of millions of private dollars in investments in Wisconsin.
The overall success of early-stage investments in Wisconsin was reflected in 2021 numbers from the Wisconsin Technology Council, which has so far recorded $852 million in 120 individual deals. A final report will be written in the annual “Wisconsin Portfolio”. The 2021 dollar figures already dwarf the previous annual total of $368 million.
Assembly Bill 759 allows start-ups that acquire or merge with similar businesses elsewhere for one year to remain in compliance with the 51% employment rule, while working with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. to ensure that other conditions are met.
“Wisconsin companies, especially those that attract angel and venture capital, cannot be competitive doing business solely in Wisconsin. They do business on regional, national and even global stages, and often need a sales force or other field centers beyond our borders,” said Tech Council President Tom Still. . “We thought this bill was important to keep startups growing in Wisconsin and avoid the risk of them being ‘poached’ by other states.”
The main legislative sponsors were Senator Dan Feyen, R-Fond du Lac; Sen. Brad Pfaff, D-Onalaska; Representative Shannon Zimmerman, R-River Falls; and Rep. “Tip” McGuire, D-Kenosha. They were joined by many members of the Legislative Assembly’s informal Tech Caucus.
For more information on the invoice, go to www.wisconsintechnologycouncil.com and search for QNBV in the newsroom.