Sen. Baldwin announces reformed tax credit for innovation

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STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAW) -- State and federal leaders are looking to help make Wisconsin companies more innovative. Wednesday, Senator Tammy Baldwin announced a new tax reform she plans to introduce that will incentivize companies in Wisconsin to do that.

She toured a light manufacturer, TYRI Americas in Stevens Point, which is a fairly large company, but not so big to be placed in the same size category as Google, for example. That is the difference Sen. Baldwin says is currently hindering some efforts in innovation.

TYRI Americas develops industrial lighting for use in construction, agriculture, forestry, and mining equipment. They are always looking for new ways to innovate and its president said tax credits, of course, help to provide more money to put towards that. President Ken Turzinski told Baldwin during their tour he likes the idea of her new legislation.

"The current R&D tax credit that's available is very cumbersome and costs us a lot of money to perform every year," explained Turzinski. "It's really geared more towards large corporations. They're the biggest benefactors of it and it's difficult for a small corporation like us to be able to take advantage of it."

"A lot of what our small and medium-zed manufacturing are doing to innovate to out innovate their competitors are things that right now don't qualify," said Baldwin. "So, we're expanding it as well as making it more generous."

She said she is introducing this act as part of a larger tax debate.
Baldwin describes the bill as a way to reform to promote investment in research and development.

Baldwin also commented about Foxconn coming to Wisconsin. She said we always have to celebrate the possibility of more good-paying jobs. That being said, she added while not being the state legislature, she knows Wisconsin has put a lot on the table to get this deal and wants it to be a win-win situation for state taxpayers because they are ultimately footing the bill for the deal.

Following Sen. Baldwin's visit, the Republican Party of Wisconsin released this statement:

“Senator Baldwin’s record is one of repeatedly raising taxes and opposing tax relief for hard-working Wisconsinites,” said Alec Zimmerman, spokesman for the Republican Party of Wisconsin. “It’s laughable that Senator Baldwin would be taken seriously on this issue given her extreme record in Washington on taxes.”