As we’ve mentioned before, our Georgia clients frequently ask us to investigate potential credits and incentives in other states where they have operations, potential acquisitions or strong relationships with customers or vendors. In addition, private equity groups ask us about potential $$ for their portfolio companies.
One of our partners recently asked about credits and incentives for a client location in Wisconsin. I was able to speak with a Wisconsin economic development professional and learned some of their details (In Wisconsin‘s Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) site click here).
A big difference between Wisconsin and most other states is that they have very high corporate tax rates. Wisconsin ranks 43rd in the The Tax Foundation’s 2014 Business Tax Climate Index (click here).
Wisconsin offers a fairly wide range of incentives, credits, and funding programs to assist businesses in locating or expanding in the state.
- Manufacturing and Agriculture Credit – Virtually eliminates the tax on income from manufacturing activity in the state for qualifying activities
- Economic Development Tax Credits – Available for the creation or retention of full-time jobs, based on the wage range, number of jobs, and other factors. Pre-approval required.
- Training Grants – Available to businesses to upgrade or improve job-related skills of full-time employees
One consideration — an application and approval process is required for most of Wisconsin’s business incentives. And, Wisconsin’s credits and incentives can be more complicated than other competitive states.
Compared to Georgia, Wisconsin has:
- Higher taxes: Far higher corporate income taxes. Higher personal income taxes. Higher sales taxes and higher property taxes.
- A similar range of industries eligible for incentives if adding jobs, a similar range for capital investments, and a far narrower range for training incentives.
- FEW opportunities for incentives unless pre-approved by state and/or local officials.
- Upper Midwest location — if that’s what is important to the business
To summarize, Wisconsin is not highly competitive for new and expanding businesses, unless those businesses really need Wisconsin’s Upper Midwest location for distribution, transportation, or skilled labor requirements.
Do any of your clients have Wisconsin connections? Make sure you review their potential qualifying activities early to maximize their $$ benefits!!