A lot of buzz surrounds the plan to bring a Taiwanese tech giant Foxconn electronics plant to Wisconsin, but now, new numbers are raising concern. The company builds numerous devices for Apple, such as the iPhone.
Wisconsin’s plan to treat Foxconn to $3 billion in tax breaks in exchange for a $10 billion factory is looking less and less like a good deal for the state. In a report issued this week, Wisconsin’s Legislative Fiscal Bureau said that the state wouldn’t break even on its investment until 2043 — and that’s in an absolute best-case scenario.
Last month, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and U.S. President Trump announced at the White House that Foxconn would be building a new $10 billion flat panel display factory in southeastern Wisconsin in exchange for $3 billion in tax breaks.
The study says that the state wouldn’t break even with the deal until 2042, and there is a ten-year period between 2025 and 2035 where the deal will have a net cost to the state of about $1 billion a year. However, the study does note that the Foxconn project, which is expected to create around 13,000 factory jobs, is likely to have a greater impact than the analysis shows.
“Most state expenditures do not result in private investments of this nature,” the study states. “The project would also provide greater employment opportunities for the state’s present and future workforce, and add a new sector to the state’s manufacturing economy.”
Scott Fitzgerald, the Senate Majority Leader, said the state needed to proceed with caution. “That’s what we’re doing right now is the due diligence to make sure this is a good deal for the state and a good deal for locals — and ultimately creates this kind of high-tech campus that everyone’s hoping for,” he said.