With the start of 2013, Wisconsin's income tax law is giving a new credit to agricultural and manufacturing production. It is known as the Wisconsin Qualified Production Activities Credit.
Current Wisconsin law taxes agricultural and manufacturing net incomes at 7.9 percent. The new law will reduce that by 1.875 percentage point in 2013, 3.75 percent in 2014, 5.526 percent in 2015, and 7.5 percent in 2016, leaving the rate at .4 percent.
This incremental income tax credit was approved in the state's 2011 budget bill that was approved by the legislature and signed by Gov. Scott Walker on June 26, 2011.
It applies to the owners of productive agricultural and manufacturing entities, regardless of the type of ownership of the eligible business.
In agriculture, the tax credit belongs to the operators of agricultural land. This means that land renters, not the landlords, are eligible for the tax credit.
This credit is not available to construction firms, on the sale, rental, or leasing of land, food and beverages prepared at a retail establisment, or to utilities, engineering and architectural companies, or film producers.
It also does not apply to income that agricultural and manufacturing producers derive from investments, royalties, or other sources.
These are examples of the amount of income tax payments at the rate that applied through 2012 and what it will be in 2016 and thereafter: $9,875 and $500 on a taxable income of $125,000; $39,500 and $2,000 on a taxable income of $500,000; and $118,000 and $6,000 on a taxable income of $1.5 million.
According to the Wisconsin legislature's non-partisan fiscal bureau, income tax collections in Wisconsin would be reduced by $10.1 million in 2013 and escalating to $128.7 million annually in 2016 and beyond.
The legislation also allows the eligible entities to carry unused credits forward for up to 15 years.