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Scott Walker, Governor
Raymond Allen, Secretary

Department of Workforce Development
Secretary's Office

201 E. Washington Avenue
P.O. Box 7946
Madison, WI 53707-7946
Telephone: (608) 266-3131
Fax: (608) 266-1784
Email: sec@dwd.wisconsin.gov

August 22, 2016
CONTACT: Tom Evenson, (608) 267-7303

Governor Walker Highlights $38 Million Reduction in Unemployment Insurance Tax for Wisconsin Companies

With $97 million reduction for tax year 2016, two-year savings total $135 million

Kenosha – Governor Scott Walker toured Kenall Manufacturing this morning and discussed the tax savings for Wisconsin employers as a direct result of the stable Unemployment Insurance (UI) Trust Fund.

Employers covered under the UI program will experience an estimated $38 million reduction in their UI taxes for the year 2017, which marks the second consecutive tax year that employer UI taxes will decline. When combined with the $97 million reduction for tax year 2016, employers will see an estimated reduction of $135 million.

“Kenall Manufacturing is a great example of a company dedicated to workforce development through their training programs,” said Governor Walker. “By reducing the unemployment insurance tax burden, Wisconsin businesses can focus on investing in their current employees with ongoing skills training and attracting new workers.”

Kenall Manufacturing is a privately held manufacturer of durable lighting solutions in challenging environments to solve complex lighting problems. They are headquartered in Kenosha and have a vertically integrated manufacturing facility with fabrication and finishing departments and a certified UL Test lab.

The UI program remains strong and available to workers who become unemployed through no fault of their own. The UI Trust Fund is the healthiest it has been since 2003 which benefits employers and workers alike.

“We are working to reinforce that unemployment insurance is for short-term support,” added Governor Walker. “The focus needs to remain on making sure companies like Kenall Manufacturing are able to continue to grow.”

Kenall Manufacturing began consolidating their operations in Wisconsin beginning in 2013 and completed its move a year later. Originally based out of Illinois, the company chose southeastern Wisconsin as the optimal location to implement their growth plan. In 2015, the company received a Wisconsin Fast Forward grant to implement cross-training for existing employees and offer continuing education programs in partnership with Gateway Technical College.

For UI tax purposes, June 30th is the key date for the UI Trust Fund balance when setting the tax rate for the following tax year. The Fund's balance on June 30th was $980 million, $80 million over the $900 million threshold needed to move to the next lowest tax schedule for tax year 2017, Schedule C.