Here’s yet another reason why Wisconsin’s politicians should not be looking at tax increases. There are many things that make Wisconsin more expensive in which to do business that put the state at a disadvantage. We should not be adding to that list.
“Our members, Wisconsin’s largest manufacturing companies, now pay an average of 13 percent more for electricity than the average rates paid by their competitors in all other Midwest states,” said Todd Stuart, executive director of WIEG. “That’s a big cost disadvantage for our members, some of whom pay well over $1 million a month for electricity.”
That can easily add up to millions of dollars more paid annually in electric bills in Wisconsin versus similarly situated customers in the Midwest. And energy costs have a proportionately much bigger impact in our state, because we typically have the #1 or #2 highest percentage of per capita manufacturing jobs in the country. Manufacturing currently employs 467,000 people at 9,500 companies in Wisconsin. Manufacturing provides $57 billion annually or 19 percent of the state’s gross domestic product.
“Our member companies compete in world markets and electricity is one of their three greatest costs of doing business,” said Jeff Landin, president of the WPC. “The energy premium we pay for our factories and paper mills in Wisconsin therefore acts as a large tax on our industries. If you want to move the needle on economic development and jobs, then getting rates under control should be at the top of the list.”