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Audit faults plans to credit Foxconn for work outside state

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A new audit says Wisconsin's economic development agency needs to modify procedures to ensure tax credits aren't awarded for Foxconn Technology Group employees who don't do work in the state.

The Secretary of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation Missy Hughes said that is an issue state leaders will have to discuss with Foxconn management.

"When you're working at Foxconn, you're right on the border there, so we need to make sure that we all understand, if someone's coming from Illinois, what does that mean? But what does it also mean if somebody is spending time in California, but it's for the benefit of what's happening in Wiscon Valley."

The nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau released its findings Tuesday.

It is the second year that the audit has identified this problem. The audit says awarding credits for workers not employed in Wisconsin would violate state law and the contract with Foxconn.

The state didn't award Foxconn any tax credits related to job creation last year because the company did not meet the minimum job threshold in the contract. Gov. Tony Evers' administration has told Foxconn it won't qualify for any this year unless its contract is renegotiated, but he did not commit to that statement when addressing reporters Tuesday.

"Who knows?" Evers responded when asked about not giving any tax credits. "We haven't gotten their report, so we can't, I can't even begin to respond to that. But, we will sit down and talk with them about the future. But from my vantage point, nothing has changed."

Hughes said the official state report on the jobs Foxconn created in 2019, which could potentially qualify them for tax credits in 2020, will come out in April.

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