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Harley Denies $25 Million Wis. Tax Credit

Harley Motorcycle Industry News

In an attempt to keep manufacturing jobs in Wisconsin, the state offered Harley-Davidson $25 million worth of state tax credits last week.

But The Motor Company rejected the tax credits due to the terms written by Wisconsin’s Governor Administration. To receive the tax credits, the American motorcycle manufacturer would have to agree to certain employment and wage terms laid out by Democratic Governor Jim Doyle’s office.

These terms for the $25 Million tax credit, which was to be spread out over nine years, call for Harley to meet certain goals in capital investment, and also utilize more than 100 Wisconsin suppliers, according to reports in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

The terms of the tax credits also include that the motorcycle company maintains a certain amount of employees. These terms directly clash with Harley’s restructuring program that calls for reduction in payroll.

But Harley stated they do not have any plans to eliminate the 3,000 manufacturing jobs in Wisconsin, although Harley “anticipates a reduction in the size of its Wisconsin production workforce upon implementation of the new labor agreements in 2012,” H-D said in a statement.

Harley had threatened to pull operations out of Wisconsin if its workers union did not ratify a contract to reduce labor costs, making them more comparable to a non-union company.

Wisconsin union workers recently approved a seven-year contract, which calls for wage freezes and a reduction in workforce.

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