How hard it is to do business in Wisconsin? Let me count the ways …
So, I bought this little Oil & Gas company in Texas this month, several million in revenue added to the bottom line and 11 new employees, nothing major.
Well, let me assert this point. It was made a whole hell of a lot easier by the State of Texas and the cities of Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. The folks in their offices of Business Development and others went above and beyond anything I have ever encountered in the state of Wisconsin. They were courteous, they were willing to assist with needs based on how we wanted to handle the purchase, how to keep jobs, how to license, how to deal with a number of layoffs. They even paid for lunch in Houston that I asked them to come to in order to drill into more questions.
Now, compare that to the hassles of no call backs, standing in lines with an uneducated person who felt I was bothering her and asking too many questions before she was to go on her cigarette break, (yes, she asked me to hurry she needed a ciggy break!)
So once she went on her break, I was asked questions rather than being the question asker, and all the new man wanted to know was if the new company was going to funnel monies into the current company and how much? (His quote, "Milwaukee needs to tax you on that you know!") Milwaukee needs to tax me? Are you nuts? Milwaukee needs to tax me?
So, this is the BS that I had to face for three weeks out of my life, and I am sure no one from city hall is going to give me those three weeks back, so no, the company is purchased but it is going to stay in Texas – every last cent until I retire or sell it, and then I will be in another state with no state taxes or even the scent of a universal health care program.
The City of Milwaukee should wake up and smell the dollars running from this city. As I said to the Future 50 program, I love Milwaukee and I want to grow here, but man alive, be happy companies like mine stay here with all this taxing bull, because it is a full tax break to pick up and move to a Texas or an Atlanta where they cater to our business and not try to choke it by stepping on our throats.
Food for thought!
Christopher Carter is the chief executive officer of CCI in Milwaukee.