September 19, 2014
 New Report Shows Big Gains in Economic Impact of Agriculture

Exciting news! Wisconsin’s farms and agricultural businesses generate $88.3 billion in economic activity and 413,500 jobs, based on data for 2012, according to a new study from University of Wisconsin-Extension and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Here’s how agriculture’s impact increased:

• Sales from farm-related activity and food processing combined rose from $59.2 billion in 2007 to $88.3 billion in 2012; an increase of 49.3 percent.

• Sales related to on-farm activity increased 62.7 percent, from $12.6 billion to $20.5 billion.

• Sales from food processing industrial sales increased from just under $50 billion to $67.8 billion; an increase of 35.6 percent.

About one in nine people working in Wisconsin hold a job related to agriculture, the new study indicates. They include farmers, their employees and those providing them with goods and services—veterinarians, crop and livestock consultants, feed and fuel suppliers, equipment dealers and lenders—as well as those employed in equipment manufacturing and food processing.

 The full report “Contribution of Agriculture to the Wisconsin Economy: Updated for 2012” is online and can be found at

Enjoying Wisconsin's Fall Color

The Department of Tourism has launched it's fall color report!

If you want to take a nice fall drive where the colors are the best, this is just the tool you need. Visit:

The Department of Tourism has also launched it's fall marketing campaign, including a new TV spot staring Airplane! actors Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Robert Hays and Wisconsin’s beautiful fall color. The spot features aerial footage of Wisconsin’s famous fall color and playfully addresses Abdul-Jabbar’s career with the Milwaukee Bucks. The Camp Wisconsin campaign continues with a fall theme, encouraging viewers, listeners and users to plan their getaway at

Watch the new add here:

 News from the Department of Revenue

DOR's Anti-Fraud Initiatives Saved Taxpayers $134 Million over Four Years

Over the last four years, the DOR has strengthened its anti-fraud initiatives, most notably by implementing identity verification in the last tax season. These anti-fraud initiatives have resulted in a 122% increase in taxpayer savings compared to the prior four years, a $74 million benefit to Wisconsin.

With the help of the legislature in the last budget, DOR implemented the Identity Verification Quiz and a Fraud Manager system. In fiscal year 2014, ID Verification and other department initiatives have reduced or denied improper refunds by over $49.6 million.You can learn more about the ID Verification program at DOR here:

Tax Incentives for Businesses

 DOR's Interactive Incentives Finder assists businesses in identifying tax incentives that may be available to them in Wisconsin. This page also provides a convenient collection of links to available tax credits, deductions, and grant programs aimed at growing the state's economy. Additionally, information regarding tools for local government is located here, including Tax Incremental Financing Districts and WEDC's Brownfields Redevelopment Program. Learn more here:

My Capitol office at 209 North is here to help you with general inquiries as well as questions and concerns regarding legislative matters. Feel free to contact me or my staff. We are always ready to assist you in your needs. Please visit my website for press releases and other Capitol updates.

If you have any comments regarding the subject of this E-Update, please feel free to contact me.   

State Capitol Room 209 North- PO Box 8952, Madison, WI 53708
Toll-Free (888) 529-0031 or (608) 266-9967

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