chandler150Secretary Richard G. Chandler, Wisconsin Department of Revenue

Manufacturing is vital to Wisconsin, and I was pleased to highlight this key industry during Manufacturing Month, which took place in October. Wisconsin is a national leader in manufacturing.  We rank second in the country in the relative size of our manufacturing sector, with one in six Wisconsin workers (more than 450,000 people) employed by manufacturers in 2012.

The manufacturing industry of today is at the forefront of new technologies and innovation.  High-precision, high technology companies have transformed the face of manufacturing into an industry that is growing rapidly, and offering exciting and sophisticated job opportunities.  During Manufacturing Month, these accomplishments and more were highlighted at open houses for the public and tours for school students at participating manufacturers.

Because of the large role manufacturing plays, in 2011 Governor Walker signed legislation creating the Manufacturing and Agriculture Tax Credit.  This credit takes effect in tax year 2013, and will be phased in beginning at 1.875% in 2013, increasing in four steps to 7.5% in tax year 2016 and beyond.  It is one of the most robust credits of its kind in the nation, making Wisconsin a more competitive place to locate and grow manufacturing businesses and jobs.

There are a number of other incentives for manufacturers which provide property tax relief for machinery and equipment used in manufacturing, as well as sales tax exemptions for machinery and equipment used by a manufacturer.  For a complete list of available credits to manufacturers, search “Incentives for Manufacturing Businesses” on the Department of Revenue’s website at www.revenue.wi.gov.

During the past two years, we have seen strong manufacturing job growth, which we forecast will continue.  The Wisconsin Department of Revenue’s Summer 2013 Economic Outlook anticipates manufacturing employment will grow by two to three percent annually through 2016, adding thousands of well-paying jobs for skilled workers.

Many world famous companies have made Wisconsin their home, and given our state its proud reputation as a leader in manufacturing.  Manufacturing Month was a great opportunity to celebrate the many manufacturing businesses, skilled workers and educational programs that support this critical industry in Wisconsin.