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Study says tax credit has spurred manufacturing job growth

MADISON, Wis. - A study by a University of Wisconsin-Madison economics professor finds that a tax credit critics argue is too expensive has helped grow manufacturing jobs in the state.

The study of the Manufacturing and Agriculture Tax Credit released Wednesday was done by professor Noah Williams. He also served as an adviser to Gov. Scott Walker's presidential campaign. Walker is a backer of the tax credit and signed it into law in 2011.

Williams' study concludes that since 2013 manufacturing employment has grown nearly 2 percentage points faster in Wisconsin compared with counties just across the state border.

Democrats and other critics have said the tax credit puts unneeded pressure on other cash-strapped parts of the budget, including education, health care and roads.

The tax credit is projected to cost more than $1.4 billion by mid-2019, far higher than originally expected.


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