MOUNT PLEASANT — Badger Meter is preparing to expand its operations here and is expected to create up to 40 jobs in the next three years, according to a press release from Gov. Scott Walker’s office.
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation is supporting the project by authorizing up to $250,000 in state income tax credits based on job creation over the next three years. The actual amount of tax credits Badger Meter will receive is contingent upon the number of jobs created during that time.
Badger Meter, 8635 Washington Ave., will also be required to retain those jobs for at least an additional two years in order to maintain the tax credits.
“Badger Meter is excited to bring more family-supporting jobs to Wisconsin from our Arizona facility,” said Rich Meeusen, Badger Meter chairman, president and CEO. “WEDC is helping us pay the cost of training new employees as we continue to grow our Racine-area operations. This is just another example of how the state of Wisconsin is creating new job opportunities by supporting business expansion in our state.”
The earned tax credits is similar, but on a much, much smaller scale, to the deal the state made with the Foxconn Technology Group to build a manufacturing campus in Mount Pleasant in exchange of nearly $3 billion worth of tax credits. Those tax credits are accrued once Foxconn meets certain goals as agreed to in the contract with the state, Racine County and Mount Pleasant.
Walker said he applauds Badger Meter for its growth in the state.
“As an industry leader and innovator, the company’s most recent investment will enhance the long-term growth opportunities at its Racine operation and position Badger Meter for continued success,” Walker said in the release.
Building a new lab
In 2010, Badger Meter acquired Arizona-based Cox Instruments, which focuses on testing and calibration of flow meters, as well as supplying precision and industrial flow measurement instrumentation for liquid and gas flow measurement applications. Due to facility limitations, Badger Meter has decided to relocate Cox Instruments to its facility on Washington Avenue.
The relocation of Cox Instruments will require the Mount Pleasant facility to become accredited by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Once the facility becomes an NIST-certified lab, it will provide calibration of high precision flow instrumentation, which will complement the company’s existing manufacturing and assembly operations.
“Racine County has long been recognized as an advanced manufacturing hub and Badger Meter’s decision to expand here underscores that reputation,” said Laura Million, business development manager for the Racine County Economic Development Corporation. “Badger Meter will not only bring 40 new jobs here, it will build and certify a new NIST-certified lab, creating long-term growth opportunities for Racine County.”
Mark Maley, public affairs and communications director for WEDC, said the state’s use of tax credits is part of being in a competitive economic environment with other states in trying to bring in business.
“This is part of our efforts to grow the economy, it is to work with businesses and encourage them to expand and grow in the state of Wisconsin,” Maley said. “Our tax credits primarily go to companies already in Wisconsin that are going to expand here or companies that are from other states and sometimes other countries that want to establish operations in Wisconsin .”
This is not the first time WEDC has given a Racine County company tax credits for their expansion. Most notably, InSinkErator has received nearly $13 million in earned tax credits since 2015 and plans to be at $15 million of earned tax credits by the end of next year, according to a WEDC database.
Those tax credits helped retain nearly 900 employees at that time and created over 600 jobs. Insinkerator, a division of Emerson, is building a new headquarters on Washington Avenue in Mount Pleasant.
“Racine County has long been recognized as an advanced manufacturing hub and Badger Meter’s decision to expand here underscores that reputation.” <&textAlign: right>Laura Million, Racine County Economic Development Corporation