Manufacturing Odds & Ends

Stimulus bill’s motorcycle tax credit could help Harley; Milwaukee law firm forms stimulus team of attorneys

Stimulus bill’s motorcycle tax credit could help Harley

A bipartisan effort led Wisconsin Democratic Senators Herb Kohl and Russ Feingold resulted in an expanded tax credit in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that could help preserve jobs at Milwaukee-based Harley-Davidson Inc.

The bill had included a provision to provide tax credits for purchasers of new cars and light-duty trucks. The Wisconsin lawmakers successfully convinced their colleagues to expand the credit to include motorcycles, as well.

Kohl and Feingold were joined in supporting the amendment by Senators Kit Bond (R-Mo.) and Robert Casey (D-Pa.). Harley has production plants in Wisconsin, Missouri and Pennsylvania.

"Like other struggling businesses, sluggish sales have led to job losses in the motorcycle industry and the dealerships that depend on it. We should do all we can to help Harley-Davidson weather this poor economy so they can boost sales and retain jobs, and we hope this provision in the economic recovery package will move us in that direction," Kohl said.

Harley recently announced the recession will prompt the company to cut 1,100 jobs.

"The recent news about layoffs at Harley-Davidson was a painful sign of how the economic downturn is affecting Wisconsin," Feingold said. "This effort to make it easier for consumers to purchase motorcycles as well as cars should help lead to more Harley sales and more Wisconsin jobs. I’m happy I was able to help expand this tax credit to potentially help Wisconsin workers."

The House of Representatives is expected to vote on the stimulus plan this afternoon, and the Senate could vote as early as tonight.

Meanwhile, J.P. Morgan Chase and Citigroup agreed this morning on moratoriums on foreclosures for several weeks as the government works on a financial stability plan to include billions of dollars aimed at keeping people in their homes.

The stock market posted moderate gains this morning as President Barack Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act moved closer to final passage on Capitol Hill today.

The largest local gainers this morning were Wisconsin Energy Corp. (up 85 cents to $43.58) and Badger Meter Inc. (up 80 cents to $29.93). The largest local decliners this morning were Associated Banc-Corp. (down 49 cents to $14.89) and Koss Corp. (down 49 cents to $11.50).

Milwaukee law firm forms stimulus team of attorneys

Davis & Kuelthau s.c. has formed a team of attorneys to assist public sector and private sector clients with the federal infrastructure stimulus program, known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Bill of 2009.

In addition to the federal legislation, Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle also recently created the Office of Recovery and Reinvestment, designed to direct stimulus bill funds to state projects.

"The billions of dollars in targeted spending currently proposed in the bill will have a considerable impact on municipalities, school districts, contractors and suppliers in Wisconsin," said Ann Rieger, president of Davis & Kuelthau. "The rapid deployment of these funds and the ‘shovel ready’ requirement of the projects will require many hours of manpower to comply with the sheer volume of projects that will be funded. We are pleased to provide the necessary support as clients navigate their way through the requirements of this complex and comprehensive initiative.


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