Wisconsin Announces No Tax Credits This Year for Foxconn. Again.

By Matthew McMullan
Oct 13 2020 |
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The company has changed its plans, and hasn’t met the hiring or spending goals it agreed to, say state officials.

You may remember Foxconn as the company that once strung nets around its iPhone factories in China to prevent its workers from attempting suicide by jumping off the building.

But here in the United States, the company is also known for its promise, first made back in 2017, to build a massive factory in Wisconsin.

It was a really big deal when Foxconn first made this announcement. Even this guy weighed in:

So how have things in the Badger State been going?

Not great!

As it turns out, Foxconn hasn’t actually done a whole lot of building in Wisconsin. So little work has been done, in fact, that it will not be getting gargantuan tax credits from the state of Wisconsin for its promise to build a manufacturing facility near Racine and create more than 2,000 jobs.  

Per its contract with the state, reports Wisconsin Public Radio, the company was to have created “2,080 full-time jobs and more than $3.3 billion in capital expenditures by the end of 2019.” But Foxconn has changed its plans for the assembly site significantly since the deal was signed in 2017, scaling back the physical size of the plant it would build, as well as its expected hiring numbers. And it wasn’t on track to fulfill its hiring and spending obligations anyway, according to the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC).

WEDC says Foxconn will not receive any tax credits until a new contract is signed that matches what the company actually plans to do. And this isn’t even the first year since the old deal was signed that Foxconn has failed to meet the agreed-upon goals, the Wisconsin State Journal writes:

The company reported in the summer it had created enough jobs in southeastern Wisconsin last year to receive state funds — despite being told almost a year ago that the $3 billion in tax subsidies would not be doled out until a new contract was drafted to match the project ….

This year would have marked the state’s first payment of refundable tax credits to Foxconn. The company fell 82 jobs short of the minimum required to claim state tax credits in 2018.

Foxconn said it created more than 800 jobs in 2019, above the 520 minimum needed for state subsidies. However, under the contract the goal was to have 2,080 full-time jobs and more than $3.3 billion in capital expenditures by the end of 2019. Foxconn’s jobs report this summer also identified more than $415 million in capital investments — a considerable difference from the $280 million reported by Foxconn in April.

We’ve been keeping an eye on the story for a few years now, through all its revisions and missed targets. We asked in 2019: Is the Foxconn project just a big boondoggle?

In 2020, it’s starting to look that way!