Study says Wisconsin may have competitive advantage over Minnesota

An analysis recently completed by the Dunn County Economic Development Corp. and the University of Wisconsin-Stout Technology Park indicates that manufacturers in the Twin Cities area could save "millions" by expanding into Wisconsin instead of Minnesota. Dunn County and UW-Stout are located about a one-hour drive east of the Twin Cities. According to the "Why West Central Wisconsin" study, a $100 million gross revenue manufacturing company would save about $15.1 million over 10 years by operating in west central Wisconsin instead of the Twin Cities.

"Our study examined labor costs, worker’s compensation costs and corporate income tax for manufacturing companies with $10 million, $50 million and a $100 million in gross revenues," said Bob Bossany, president of the Dunn County EDC. "The annual savings realized by these three sample companies ranged from about a quarter million dollars to one and a half million dollars. When you figure these annual savings over 10, 20 or even 30 years, the cost savings is very significant."

Bossany recently presented the study results to more than 200 Minnesota real estate professionals at the Industrial Real Estate & Economic Development Conference held in Minneapolis. He also stated that while industrial property taxes were not included in the study, they are generally about 40 to 50 percent less in Wisconsin vs. in Minnesota – further adding to the cost savings realized by businesses that expand to Wisconsin.

The Minnesota Chapter of the National Association of Industrial Properties (NAIOP’s) "20th Annual Comparative Tax Study" further bolsters the case for Minnesota companies to expand to Wisconsin, based on lower business property taxes. One example it cites is that a typical 99-employee Minnesota company would pay $110,504 annually in property tax while the same business would pay just $59,240 in the State of Wisconsin.

Both the "Why West Central Wisconsin?" and Minnesota NAIOP studies will be utilized during Forward Wisconsin’s October 17-19 Minnesota Marketing Mission, the organization said.

"The analysis completed by the Dunn County EDC and the Stout Technology Park, as well as the NAIOP tax study, again illustrates that a Wisconsin business location offers real cost-savings vs. a site in Minnesota," said Jan Alf, director of Forward Wisconsin. "When we meet with Twin Cities’ CEOs next month as part of our annual marketing mission, we will include in our presentations the positive financial benefits that Minnesota firms would see by expanding to our state."

To view copies of both the "Why West Central Wisconsin?" analysis and the NAIOP tax study, go to the right margin of the Web page at:

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