Wisconsin board approves $3 billion Foxconn contract terms

MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation Board approved a staff overview of the 15-year Foxconn contract in a closed vote Wednesday, clearing one of the last major hurdles in the deal becoming a reality.

The board did not vote on the actual contract, which could potentially be changed before Friday when it’s expected to be signed by Gov. Scott Walker.

The staff overview outlined the benchmarks Foxconn needs to reach to get tax incentives from the state of Wisconsin. They can get the full $2.85 billion if they create 13,000 jobs and invest $9 billion.

The money would be paid out incrementally by year and growth. Each year has a minimum job threshold for Foxconn to get any job tax credits, and a maximum amount of credits they can get that year. If the company reaches the minimum, but not the maximum amount of jobs, they will get a prorated amount of money. Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation CEO Mark Hogan said the contract accomplished his goals.

"Provide the company the kind of flexibility to invest up to 10 billion dollars, create 13,000 jobs here in the state of Wisconsin, and at the same time create certainty around the protection for the taxpayers," Wachs said.

The goal is to get the full 13,000 jobs by 2023. There is also a set of capital investment tax credits the company can receive, which are more dependent on Foxconn investing in capital than creating jobs.

There are also “claw backs,” or how much money the state can get back from Foxconn if they remove jobs, or fail to meet certain requirements.

State Representative Dana Wachs, D-Eau Claire, who is running for governor, voted no. Wachs said the claw backs weren’t enough.

"It's a risk for our taxpayers,” Wachs said. “I think we need to be accountable for taxpayer dollars, and I think 3 billion dollars into one industry that's prone to technological changes is too much."

Foxconn must give back 100 percent of state money if it supplies false or misleading information, leaves “the zone” to conduct the same business in a different area, or ceases operations in the business zone and does not restart operations within 12 months.

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