Assembly Passes PPP Tax Fix, Armstrong Technical Education Resolution 

State Rep. Dave Armstrong (R-Rice Lake) today voted to save Wisconsin businesses hundreds of millions of dollars over the next for years by treating federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans the same for state tax purposes as they are for federal tax purposes.

“PPP was a lifeline to many businesses during the COVID pandemic,” Representative Armstrong said, “And the understanding was that these loans would be tax-free.  However, the Wisconsin Department of Revenue terrified businesses when it announced that they would not be able to deduct businesses expenses paid for with PPP loans.  I heard from many employers, who asked me what the Legislature was going to do to fix this.  I introduced an amendment to Assembly Bill 2 that would require the state to reflect federal tax law with regard to PPP, and I am pleased that the final version of the bill the Assembly passed today includes a similar fix.”

Assembly Bill 2, which in addition to the PPP fix contains many other revisions to the tax code, passed on a bipartisan 87-3 vote and will now go the Senate for further consideration.

The Assembly also passed a resolution Representative Armstrong introduced to recognize February 2021 as Career and Technical Education Month in Wisconsin.  Representative Armstrong spoke on behalf of the resolution in his maiden speech to the Assembly:

“I hear from employers weekly about the challenges they face finding employees who have the necessary skills to fill important positions in their businesses.  Hundreds of good-paying, family-supporting jobs in our region are going unfilled.  This hurts not only businesses, but the wider community as well.

“Part of the problem is that our young people have it drilled into them from an early age that a four-year college or university degree is the only path to meaningful, gainful careers.  However, a four-year degree is only one option of many, and Wisconsin is blessed with a robust technical college system that builds on the excellent career and technical education programs many of our K-12 schools offer.  The key is to do a better job of informing our students about the opportunities available to them…

“Another very important segment of the workforce are those looking to learn a new school and change careers.  This is where a technical college system fills an essential role that will become even more important as artificial intelligence and automation become more advanced and widespread over the next ten years…

“Ninety-three percent of technical college graduates remain in Wisconsin, so Wisconsin businesses and communities reap the benefits of the investments [the Assembly] has made and will hopefully continue to make in promoting and improving career and technical education, both at the K-12 level and in the Wisconsin Technical College System.”