The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation denied tax credits to Foxconn, saying the LCD manufacturing company did not meet the benchmarks set out in a contract signed during the Walker administration.
The company originally committed to building a large “Gen 10.5” facility in the Racine suburb of Mt. Pleasant, but changed plans in the following years—opting for research and development.
According to a letter sent from WEDC to the company, Foxconn failed to meet the minimum requirements of both jobs created and money invested in the state.
“As we have discussed numerous times, markets, opportunities and business plans scan and often need to change,” wrote WEDC Secretary and CEO Missy Hughes. “I have expressed to you my commitment to help negotiate fair terms to support Foxconn’s new and substantially changed vision for the project.”
Original report from Here & Now on Dec. 20, 2019.
In an annual project report submitted to the state, Foxconn reported creating fewer than 300 jobs and investing a little more than $200 million. The company would have needed to create at least 520 jobs and invested roughly $300 million to receive the tax credit, in addition to progress toward building the “Gen 10.5” facility.
“WEDC leadership and representatives of the State of Wisconsin have been consistent in their oral and written messages to the Recipients since March 2019 that business development activities other than the 10.5 Fab would be ineligible for tax credits under the Agreement,” the state agency wrote in its denial of the tax credits.
Hughes indicated in her letter to Foxconn’s Vice Chairman Jay Lee however, that discussions were ongoing with the manufacturing company to amend the original agreement to still allow for tax incentives.
“Dr. Lee, there is a path open for incentivizing additional development in the [tax incentive] Zone on a win/win basis,” Hughes wrote. “Once Foxconn is able to provide more accurate details of the proposed project, such as its size, scope, anticipated capital investment, and job creation, WEDC would be able to offer support for the project with tax incentives as it does for many large and small Wisconsin businesses.”
“After touring the project two weeks ago,” Hughes added, “I can see that there are many avenues for Foxconn’s future success in Wisconsin, and I look forward to partnering with you in that success.”