Tax Reform Discussed at Economic Breakfast

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More than 100 business professionals from Watertown and the surrounding areas gathered at the Maranatha Dining Complex March 1 for breakfast and a meeting featuring keynote speaker Richard Chandler, Wisconsin’s Department of Revenue Secretary.

Maranatha proved to be the ideal setting for the 2013 Economic Breakfast. Students went about their breakfast routines quietly and respectfully while the business professionals discussed Wisconsin’s economic standing.

chandlerrThe event began with a welcome from Maranatha Director of Development Steve Board and included additional comments from Scott Huedepohl, president of Town and Country Bank, which sponsored the event. Maranatha President Dr. Marty Marriott welcomed those attending.

Chandler presented his view of the economic status of Watertown and the state as a whole, providing positive news for local business owners. “We do see the economy gradually picking up,” Chandler said. “The trend is in the right direction.”

Plans for a major state tax reform, intended to increase funding for schools, new roads, and healthcare, were also presented. The Department of Revenue’s goal, Chandler said, is to “drive tax relief to the middle class.” He projected that the typical Wisconsin family will see income tax savings of $212 in the next two years.

Chandler finished his presentation by urging the business professionals to spread the word about the state’s improving economy.

“Wisconsin is becoming a better place to do business, and we want all to know about that,” he said. “The story we have to tell is much better than it was in the past.”

The presentation received primarily positive feedback from the attendees.

“The overall program was good,” said Robert Stangler, owner of TBE Trailers/ Lawn and Garden.

Jeff Berres, Dodge County Supervisor, also expressed his approval of the presentation and the tax reform plan.

“I liked the presentation,” Berres said. “Until they actually cut (expenditures), you aren’t going to see change.”

“I thought it sent the message as to the direction the state is going,” said John David, candidate for Mayor of Watertown. “Right direction will get businesses rejuvenated and energized and get them to expand and increase employment.”

Nate Salas, vice president of Town and Country Bank added, “We are moving in the right direction.”

–By Heather Myers