The Lacrosse Tribune reports a financial incentive that has provided $50 million worth of credits to dairy and livestock farmers since 2004 received a five-year extension Tuesday.

Livestock operators are able to use the tax credit to claim up to 10 percent of the costs of modernizing or expanding their operations. The credit applies only to the purchase of new buildings or equipment used to manage a dairy operation and does not include animals.

The credits have created investments of $500 million according to Sen. Dan Kapanke, R-La Crosse, sponsor of the legislation. The tax credit was scheduled to expire in January of 2012, but has been extended to 2017.

The tax credit has received unanimous bipartisan support and helps the Dairy State’s economy. The estimated cost of the tax credit is $1.2 million in 2013 and grows to $2.7 million in 2014. If the credit extends  through 2028, Wisconsin would pay an estimated $115.3 million.

Wisconsin ranks behind only California in total number of milk cows.

Source: Lacrosse Tribune