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From Home Furnishing Business

Ashley Drops $6M Tax Credit

Ashley Furniture Inds. has decided not to chase a $6 million tax credit through the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. to support the company’s expansion in its home state.

The company said it would continue to expand its Arcadia, Wis., operations and is looking into other sources to fund flood control measures around its factory. The area suffered $10 million damage due to a flood in 2010.

The economic development group had approved the $6 million tax credit for the company to expand its headquarters. However, under the plan, the company would have been allowed to reduce its workforce by half.

“Our decision to no longer pursue the proposed agreement with WEDC will not affect Ashley’s Arcadia operations or employees,” said Todd Wanek, president and CEO, said in a statement. “Ashley will continue to grow in Arcadia, is committed to continuing a strong presence in Wisconsin, and will continue to meet with the City of Arcadia to assist it in finding other sources for funding its much-needed flood-control project.”

Ashley has also decided to return $256,706 in tax credits for a separate project that was set to create 225 jobs this year. 

Since 2012, Ashley has added 87 positions, for a total of 480 employees, in its Whitehall, Wis., operation that underwent an $8 million expansion.

“We take our responsibilities seriously and remain committed to growing in Wisconsin,” Wanek said, “but – while we added more than 350 positions to our statewide workforce over the past three years – we have been unable to attract the new hires we specifically need in Whitehall. Therefore, we made the decision to withdraw from the program and return the incentives we have earned so far, which will allow us to focus on continued growth at our own pace. Although we are withdrawing from the program, we will actively continue our efforts to hire in Wisconsin.” 

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