Governor Evers Signs BTC Modernization Bill into Law

Gov. Tony Evers has signed Assembly Bill 627 into law as 2023 WI Act 143. A top WEDA legislative priority, the legislation modernizes the state’s Business Development Tax Credit (BTC), changing it from a job-focused incentive to a capital expenditure-focused program. The bill was ap proved by the Assembly earlier this year and cleared the state Senate on March 12 – the last day of the 2023-24 legislative session.

While the BTC – a performance-based, refundable income tax credit designed to encourage business development – has been used successfully to attract new businesses to Wisconsin, the program had lost considerable value due to the state’s changing economic environment. The outdated law had also put Wisconsin at a competitive disadvantage.

Under previous law, BTC awards were based on job creation, which was extremely challenging amid a growing and likely long-term workforce shortage. One of the biggest challenges currently facing Wisconsin employers is their inability to find enough workers, and they are increasingly turning to automation and other substantial capital expenditures to bridge the labor gap. The new law will make the BTC program more flexible and competitive, by steering primary eligibility for tax awards away from job creation and instead emphasize capital investment.

In addition to eliminating the requirement that a business must increase net employment in the state year over year, the law will now offer BTC eligibility if a business makes a capital investment in the state and retains existing jobs. The recently signed legislation also creates additional BTC tax awards for businesses that invest in workforce housing and childcare for their employees. Lastly, the bill recognizes the importance of business decision timelines by requiring WEDC to approve or deny BTC awards within 90 days.

Please CLICK HERE for an overview of AB 627, and HERE to read the new law.


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