Harley receives $25 million in tax breaks to remain in WI

On Friday Governor Jim Doyle and Harley-Davidson, Inc. President and CEO Keith Wandell issued the following statement after Harley-Davidson announced it will keep its Wisconsin factories open. Harley-Davidson employees voted Sept. 13 to accept a new contract, which was critical to keeping the production operations in Wisconsin.

“Through hard work and cooperation Harley-Davidson will keep its production operations open in Wisconsin, and keep hundreds of jobs in this state – both at Harley and their suppliers,” Governor Doyle said. “This has been a challenging time for Harley and its great employees, and I want to thank everyone who came together in difficult circumstances to ensure this iconic Wisconsin company stays in Wisconsin.”

“The State has worked closely with Harley-Davidson to bring about a good outcome in this tough situation. I personally spoke with Harley’s CEO, and the State has offered a strong $25 million incentive package to help the company stay in Wisconsin. The incentive package created by the State consists of tax credits primarily linked to jobs at Harley, and with their Wisconsin suppliers.”

“Together with our employees we are making the changes necessary for us to compete and win in a global marketplace,” said Keith Wandell, Harley-Davidson, Inc. President and CEO. “We have worked closely with the State of Wisconsin and we appreciate their efforts to foster a competitive business environment that will help us succeed here long term. As we look to the future, we are confident that Harley-Davidson will be as great going forward as it has been in the past.”

The Wisconsin Department of Commerce is providing Harley-Davidson with a $25 million Enterprise Zone tax credit over nine years, which will be a performance-based incentive linked to jobs and capital investment at the company, and purchases from their in-state suppliers.

Governor Doyle created the Enterprise Zone Program as a powerful business recruitment and retention tool. It provides companies with refundable tax credits for job creation and retention, training, capital investment and supply chain development.

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