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Manufacturing tax credit continues to grow

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A manufacturing tax credit touted by Republicans is projected to cost the state more than $650 million over the next two years.

Democratic critic Rep. Gordon Hintz, of Oshkosh, on Tuesday released the latest estimates from the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau. It shows that the program will have reduced state tax collections by about $1.4 billion by mid-2019. The tax credit has been phased in since 2013 and became fully implemented in 2016.

Hintz says the program is growing at an unsustainable rate, has forced cuts in other areas and makes it harder to fund other priorities. Hintz is one of four Democrats on the 16-member budget-writing Joint Finance Committee.

Republicans defend the tax credit saying it spurs economic development that otherwise may not have occurred.

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