Wisconsin’s Manufacturing and Agriculture Credit gives entities in these industries an effective corporate tax rate of 0.4%.
The credit may be claimed on 7.5% of Wisconsin’s flat 7.9% corporate income tax rate, yielding an effective rate of 0.4%. Individual manufacturers and farmers may use the credit to lower their top personal income tax rate from 7.65% to 0.15%.
Experts disagree on whether the credit, which cost $334 million in 2019, has boosted job growth.
A 2019 University of Wisconsin-Madison study found manufacturing employment grew nearly twice as much in the Wisconsin border counties between 2013 and 2019 compared to counties just across the state line.
Critics have pointed out that the credit gives large tax cuts mostly to millionaires, costs more than what lawmakers estimated at the time of its passage and does not require recipients to create or even maintain jobs in Wisconsin.
This Fact Brief is responsive to conversations such as this one.
State of Wisconsin Department of Revenue: DOR Manufacturing and Agriculture Credit
Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce: Facts about the Manufacturing and Agriculture Credit
University of Wisconsin-Madison | Crow Center for Research on the Wisconsin Economy: The case for the Manufacturing and Agricultural Tax Credit
Wisconsin Public Radio: Majority of manufacturing tax credits go to millionaires in Wisconsin
Wisconsin Budget Project: Six reasons to eliminate Wisconsin’s costly, ineffective manufacturing tax credit
Wisconsin State Legislature: Legislative Reference Bureau