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Reports: Foxconn Currently Ineligible For Tax Credits

Michelle Maternowski
Foxconn's downtown Milwaukee office.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers' top aide is warning Foxconn Technology Group that it won't collect any state incentives for its scaled-down factory in Wisconsin if it doesn't renegotiate the deal.

Foxconn had originally promised to build a massive flat-screen factory in Mount Pleasant that would eventually employ 13,000 people.

But the company said this spring that the factory will be smaller than originally planned.

According to the Associated Press, Evers' administration released a series of letters Friday warning Foxconn executives the new project doesn't qualify for incentives. Foxconn officials responded with their own letters accusing Evers of wasting their time over contract terms.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports that state officials argue "multiple updates to the company's plans have resulted in a vastly different project altogether” than the one the state and Foxconn agreed to in a 2017 contract.

At the time, Foxconn said it would invest $10 billion to build a huge factory complex that would manufacture large LCD screens. The state and local governments offered $4 billion in incentives.

The Wisconsin State Journal article states that Foxconn and the state would have to update the contract to reflect current plans for the factory complex in order to tap into state incentives.

Since the time the contract was signed, Foxconn has said it would build smaller screens for things like cell phones and computers. Land has been cleared and buildings have been going up on the Foxconn property in Racine County. But some project observers have noted that the size of the factory campus and the number of jobs to be created have not been clear.

However, Foxconn has stressed that the facility will be a long-term success. At a holiday party the company held in Milwaukee on Friday Dec. 6, Foxconn founder Terry Gou said, “I am committed to Wisconsin, to the United States, to Racine County.”

The contract with the state says in order to receive state subsidies, Foxconn must meet hiring and investment requirements each year. The company fell short of the target last year.

Gov. Evers is a Democrat. The Foxconn incentives deal was shepherded through the state by former Republican Gov. Scott Walker, who promised the factory complex and related development would be "transformational" for Wisconsin's economy.

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