Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Foxconn admits they come up short, and now they're just another WEDC deal

Did something big happen this afternoon in the Upper Midwest? Oh yeah, we got a new deal to replace the Fox-con!

Oh, I bet they end up with a number closer to 454 than 1,454. But let's humor them for now.

A central point of this new contract is that Foxconn is admitting they won't do anything close to what was sold to Wisconsinites 3 1/2 years ago.
A new agreement between Foxconn Technology Group and the state announced Tuesday dramatically scales back the number of jobs the company promises to create — to only 1,454 — and reduces the capital investment to a fraction of what was originally promised.

In return, Foxconn stands to receive far less state cash.

The agreement allows for Foxconn to get a maximum of $80 million in tax credits compared to the previous agreement which would have granted the company $2.85 billion in state money if the company met certain hiring and capital investments.....

“When I ran to be governor, I made a promise to work with Foxconn to cut a better deal for our state — the last deal didn’t work for Wisconsin, and that doesn’t work for me,” said Gov. Tony Evers.

“Today I’m delivering on that promise with an agreement that treats Foxconn like any other business and will save taxpayers $2.77 billion, protect the hundreds of millions of dollars in infrastructure investments the state and local communities have already made, and ensure there’s accountability for creating the jobs promised.”
I suppose the Evers Administration figures "something is better than nothing" with this white elephant, which has already had several Racine County homes cleared and highways upgraded for a scam project that will not come close to being worthy it.
But sure enough, the guy who "represents" the Foxconn area in the Assembly tried to say Ever's new Foxconn package isn't as good because...it might now give Foxconn more money?
Assembly Leader Robin Vos, R-Rochester, in an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, said he voted in favor of the new deal "because it’s not a bad deal for the taxpayer, but it certainly is underwhelming in the way that it was negotiated because we’re paying out more than we would have if we kept the old deal in place for the jobs created.”

“This deal doesn’t save the state any money because the entire deal was based on a performance contract that Foxconn was not meeting,” Vos said. “They didn’t hire enough people, so they got $0 from the state. Under the new deal that was announced they’re going to get money that they wouldn’t have gotten under Gov. Walker.”
I'll remind you that the same Robbin' Vos made this comment over the weekend.

So wait, was Foxconn meeting its goals, or was the deal struck with Walker working because Foxconn was failing to meet its goals? Does Robbin' even know at this point? Or care?

I still want to see the actual contract, to see how many jobs Foxconn actually has to add/keep in order to get anything from the state. Sure, they SAY they'll eventually hire 1,454 people, but we know that's likely BS. So how much are they actually going to hire, and how much are Wisconsin taxpayers actually going to have to pay?

Of course, even if Foxconn doesn't get another dime from the state of Wisconsin, they've already had hundreds of millions of dollars of infrastructure and upgraded roads given to it, and they have a whole lot of acreage they can rent and/or sell off at some point. And I also want to know what happens if Foxconn skips out on the huge property tax payment they are supposed send out in 2023 to a debt-ridden Village of Mount Pleasant.

Look, it's nice that Foxconn is being treated like anyone else that gets a WEDC incentive instead of the extra-special giveaway and PR BS that Walker, Trump, Vos and the rest of these GOP slugs gave it. It's also still a lot more than Foxconn deserves, given their constant deceptions and changing plans, and this deal is not much more than making the best of an already-awful situation that the Last Guy put the State of Wisconsin in.

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