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By Dave Umhoefer July 7, 2011

Budget included two reductions -- the bigger one inserted by GOP lawmakers

One of the many tax-cut promises made by Gov. Scott Walker during the 2010 campaign dealt with Wisconsin manufacturers. Without offering specifics, he promised his first budget would cut "manufacturing taxes.”

The two-year budget Walker signed in June 2011 accomplished his goal on two counts -- though with a big assist from legislators on one of them.

Walker"s initial budget proposed changes in tax reporting by multi-state companies, including many large manufacturing firms. That tweak to "combined reporting” will save firms an estimated $46 million over two years.

The much bigger change was inserted by Republican lawmakers into the budget late in the process. It reduces the state tax on the production earnings of manufacturers and agricultural businesses to almost nothing by 2016, the Journal Sentinel reported. It would cost the budget $359 million in five years, then $128 million annually after phase in.

A chief sponsor, Sen. Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend), said the idea was developed independently from Walker, but the governor supported it.

Along with the first change, it helped him meet his goal. Promise Kept.

Our Sources

Legislative Fiscal Bureau, summary of tax changes in Scott Walker"s budget proposal, April 15, 2011

Legislative Fiscal Bureau, summary of tax changes in amended state budget,June 13, 2011

Interview with Rob Reinhardt, Legislative Fiscal Bureau, July 7, 2011

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Business production tax rate added to state budget,” June 6, 2011

Interview with State Senator Glenn Grothman, July 6, 2011

Email exchange with Jack Norman, research director, Institute for Wisconsin"s Future, July 7, 2011

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