Skilled Construction Trades and Respected Contractors
Building Wisconsin Together ®
Welcome to Construction Business Group's Industry Updates.  This monthly e-newsletter will help us communicate the important initiatives that we have underway and relevant updates on issues that impact Wisconsin's construction industry.  
Message from Executive Director  Robb Kahl
CBG's 2020 Winter Conference is coming up fast.  The conference is March 5-6 at the Kalahari Resort in the Wisconsin Dells.  The content is timely and the lineup of speakers is impressive.  Click here for the full agenda.  Some of the most notable speakers are:  
  • Governor of Wisconsin Tony Evers
  • Peter Barca, Secretary, Wisconsin Department of Revenue
  • Maggie Gau, Chief of Staff, Office of Governor Tony Evers (invited)
  • Mark Reihl, Unemployment Insurance Division Administrator, Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development
If you have not RSVP'd yet, please do so by contacting Patty Barlow at or 608-240-4178 .  Also the room block at the Kalahari expires Monday, February 3, 2020.  To make your hotel reservations, you can call the hotel (877-525-2427) and ask for the Construction Business Group block.  Or you can go online:

Building Wisconsin Together ®

Join us at CONEXPO in March

The Wisconsin Operating Engineers' innovative youth outreach is being featured at CONEXPO in Las Vegas.  Laura Cataldo will facilitate a panel that includes:
        • Jeff Vincent, IUOE
        • Kip Gutke, Local 139 Training Center
        • Matt Binsfeld, JF Brennan
        • Zach Karsten, JF Brennan apprentice

"Attracting and Training Your Workforce: 
Operating Engineers' Innovative Solutions"
Date:  Wednesday, March 11th from 9:30-10:30am

To read more about the presentation, click to read an article from CONEXPO Construction News.   

To learn more, contact Laura Cataldo at 608-616-2835 or 

Industry News and Updates
From the News Stand
Proceedings of the Wisconsin Rating Committee
Wisconsin Contractor's Premium Adjustment Program (WCPAP)

Pursuant to the approval of the Rating Committee, the following procedural changes to the Wisconsin Contractor's Premium Adjustment Program (WCPAP) will be made.

Changes to the WCPAP:

Effective 2/1/2021 WCRB will no longer issue courtesy postcard reminders to employers eligible to file for the Wisconsin Contractor's Premium Adjustment Program.

WCRB will mail an orange WCPAP postcard notification to complete a WCPAP Online Application for one more renewal cycle.  It will be our last postcard WCPAP notification mailing.  We will not be sending future notifications.

Beginning with policies effective 7/1/2021 eligible employers should create their own reminders to complete their WCPAP Online Application every year.  Remember, employers must submit a WCPAP Online Application every year, no less than 90 calendar days prior to the first day of the month of their worker's compensation policy renewal.

The WPAP Online Application is updated every year on the evening of September 30th. Therefore, you may complete this online application as soon as October 1st, regardless of your policy effective date.

For questions or clarification, please call Alyce Archie-Jordan at (262) 796-4556.

DOR Issues Annual Report on Audit Initiative

Revenues generated by businesses in Wisconsin are subject to state taxation. This statutory requirement applies to out-of-state companies as well as state-based companies and it is the responsibility of the Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR) to ensure compliance. 
We believe the DOR must carry out its audit-related activities in the same manner for hometown Wisconsin companies and their out-of-state competitors. That's easier said than done.  
Identifying and collecting the state taxes owed by out-of-state businesses is more time-consuming and labor-intensive. In 2015, state lawmakers approved a plan to improve the identification and collection of state taxes owed by out-of-state companies. 
The "Audit Initiative" authorized the DOR to hire an additional 87 front-line tax auditors to conduct: 
  • economic nexus investigations to identify out-of-state entities that should be collecting, filing and paying Wisconsin income and sales taxes; 
  • sales tax audits of non-Wisconsin businesses with tax liability in Wisconsin; and
  • corporate income tax audits of large multi-state apportionment entities with tax liability in Wisconsin. 
The ongoing costs of the Audit Initiative are substantial - $13.6 million annually. The DOR assured state lawmakers that additional tax collections would exceed these ongoing costs. State lawmakers added an annual reporting requirement to the plan to hold the Department accountable.
Recently, the DOR issued its 2019 report. As of June 30, 2019, the Audit Initiative has generated an additional $159.9 million in state tax collections.

Unemployment Insurance Program Year-End Report

Earlier this month, the Unemployment Insurance Advisory Council received its annual report on the financial status of the state Unemployment Insurance (UI) Trust Fund and an update on administrative changes in 2020. Outlined below are the noteworthy details.
As of December 31, 2019, the balance in the UI Trust Fund was $1.96 billion - up 13.3% from the previous year. One of the factors used to determine the UI tax rate for Wisconsin employers is the balance in the UI Trust Fund. Rates are progressively lower as the balance increases. For the third year in row, Wisconsin employers will pay at the lowest rate schedule in 2020.
In 2019, state UI tax collections were $553.6 million - down $39.2 million from the previous year. The decline in UI tax collections is due to overall improvement in the experience rating of Wisconsin employers and a slight reduction in the amount of UI benefits paid. In 2019, UI benefit payments were $372.3 million.
The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) conducts in-person hearings on UI benefit eligibility determinations at offices located throughout the state. The DWD will not renew leases for hearing offices located in Eau Claire, Appleton and Madison and they are slated to close in March 2020. This decision was based on several factors including reduced federal funding, a decline in UI appeals and participant (employers and claimants) preference for telephone hearings. Currently, about 80% of UI appeal hearings are held via telephone.
When a UI appeal in these areas requires an in-person hearing, hearings will be held at nearby locations. The DWD will continue to identify additional alternative in-person hearing locations with the intent to reduce the travel distance for those who live in rural communities.

Field of Candidates Set for State Supreme Court Race

This spring, Wisconsin voters will elect a Justice to a 10-year term on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Three candidates have filed the necessary paperwork with the Wisconsin Elections Commission.
Incumbent Supreme Justice Daniel Kelly will face two challengers - Marquette University Law School Professor Ed Fallone and Dane County Circuit Court Judge Jill Karofsky - in the February 18th primary election. The two candidates who receive the most votes in the primary election advance to the April 7th general election.
The seven-member Wisconsin Supreme Court is the final authority on matters pertaining to the Wisconsin Constitution and their rulings can adversely or beneficially impact Wisconsin employers. We encourage members to learn more about these candidates and vote in this important statewide election.

Construction Business Group | 608-240-4170 |