A package of legislation was recently proposed to incentivize the development and rehabilitation of workforce housing across the state. The bundle of legislative proposals – better known as the “WisWorks package – includes a bill (LRB-5204) that would help drive down the cost of housing construction by creating a sales tax exemption on materials, supplies and equipment used in the development of workforce housing.

The bill – a top WEDA legislative priority – is currently being circulated for co-sponsorship, which provides lawmakers an opportunity to “sign-on” to the bill to show their support for the proposal. The bill’s authors include Representatives Bob Kulp (R) and Romaine Quinn (R), as well as Senator Pat Testin (R).

Please contact your legislators TODAY and urge them to co-sponsor LRB-5204.


A recent report – Falling Behind: Addressing Wisconsin’s workforce housing shortage to strengthen families, communities and our economy – authored by UW-Madison professor of urban and regional planning Kurt Paulsen, Ph.D., verifies what we are witnessing in communities across the state – quickly rising construction costs have played a significant role in Wisconsin’s current workforce housing shortage.

These escalating construction costs are driven in large part by price spikes for a wide range of building materials. As a result, this has led to an overall increase in housing costs and a decline in homeownership.

As you know, housing affordability and quality is an extremely important factor for individuals and their families when deciding where they want to live and work. To help improve Wisconsin’s housing stock and provide communities and employers with a meaningful talent development tool, WEDA strongly supports LRB-5204, which would create a tax incentive to reduce the costs of housing and help spur much-needed development of workforce housing throughout the state.

The proposed legislation would create a sales tax exemption for building materials, supplies and equipment purchased for the construction of workforce housing. The bill defines workforce housing as: 1.) Housing intended for initial occupancy by individuals whose household income does not exceed 120% of the county’s gross median income; and 2.) Housing that costs the occupants no more than 30% of the county’s median income. Under the bill, the exemption does not apply to materials purchased for the development of property for public use, such as sidewalks, storm sewers, utility extensions and streets.


E-mail or call your state legislators today and urge them to co-sponsor LRB-5204 – the Wisconsin Workforce Housing Sales Tax Exemption bill. Please feel free to use WEDA’s sample e-mail when contacting your lawmakers. All you need to do is cut-and-paste it into an e-mail. Please consider personalizing the e-mail to reference housing challenges you are facing in your community.

If you don’t know who your state legislators are, or do not have their contact information, simply CLICK HERE and type your home address in the upper right corner text box. Remember to contact both your state senator and state representative.

If you have any questions on this WEDA Advocacy Action Alert request or would like additional information on the issue, please contact WEDA at mwelsh@weda.org.