Foxconn could receive up to $37M from state over next two years under new deal

MADISON – State officials anticipate paying Foxconn up to $37 million over the next two years after Gov. Tony Evers and the Taiwanese tech giant renegotiated the company’s subsidy deal with Wisconsin this week. 

Administration Secretary Joel Brennan in a Friday letter told members of the Legislature’s budget-writing committee that under the terms of the new agreement with Foxconn, the state anticipates the company will be eligible to receive up to $29.1 million this year in taxpayer-funded subsidies and up to $8.3 million the following year. 

Brennan asked that those amounts be included in the 2021-22 state budget proposal that the committee will be revising over the coming months. 

The payments are a result of an agreement reflecting a dramatically scaled back project from the $10 billion LCD manufacturing facility and 13,000-job promise Foxconn and former Gov. Scott Walker used as the basis to strike a deal in 2017 that would have provided the company nearly $3 billion in taxpayer-funded payments in exchange for the investment and infusion of jobs. 

Foxconn never came close to creating either the jobs or the factory and stood to receive no direct payments from the state unless Wisconsin officials and Foxconn came to a new agreement, which would provide the company up to $80 million in cash. 

Now, the company plans to create 1,454 jobs — 11% of the original plan — and invest $672 million in the project within four years, or 6.7% of what was planned to be spent in Wisconsin under the former agreement.  

The new agreement provides the subsidies in the form of job credits, which cover 7% of wages instead of the 17% that was included in the original deal.

Foxconn has not spelled out what, if anything, it will manufacture at its Mount Pleasant campus but said earlier this week it is focused on artificial intelligence and cloud computing. 

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Contact Molly Beck at molly.beck@jrn.com. Follow her on Twitter at @MollyBeck.