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Lawmakers react to fiscal analysis on Foxconn deal

 

The Legislative Fiscal Bureau says it could take two decades for Wisconsin taxpayers to break even on a proposed incentives package to bring Foxconn to the state.

Two weeks after Governor Walker announced Foxconn would invest $10 billion in the state, lawmakers are getting a closer look at what the $3 billion incentives package means for taxpayers.

On Tuesday, the state's non-partisan fiscal bureau released a 28-page analysis showing Wisconsin wouldn't break even on its investment until 2043. And if 10 percent of its employees are from out of state, the payoff could come later.

"This is taxpayers all around the state paying for a facility will benefit largely southern Wisconsin," explained State Rep. Amanda Stuck, D-Appleton. 

Stuck sits on the Jobs and Economy Committee, which is the committee handling the incentives bill. During in last week's public hearing Stuck expressed a number of concerns which she says still remain.

"We also had questions for some of the secretaries that were at the hearing, like the secretary of the Department of Revenue about the clawbacks, and how strong these clawbacks are should this fall through," said Stuck. 

State Rep. Paul Tittl, R-Manitowoc, says the analysis fails to point out the benefits the state could see.

"What they haven't factored into this is all the auxiliary jobs that are going to be around Foxconn. There are going to be numerous other companies that will supply and be suppliers to Foxconn," said Tittl. 

Tittl also sits on the jobs committee, he explained if the jobs promised aren't created, the company wouldn't get all the money in the incentives package.

"It's pay as you go, if they don't create the jobs they don't get the incentives and I think that is a key thing that people need to understand," added Tittl.

State Sen. Roger Roth, R-Appleton says the Senate is also looking over the fiscal bureau's analysis, but says the deal still looks good. 

"I absolutely believe an investment like this is hugely transformational for the state," said Roth. 

A proposed committee vote on the bill was expected to take place Thursday, it's unclear if that vote will still take place.

The incentives package could also affect the state's budget.

According to the fiscal bureau, it would take $15 million away from the general fund. The budget is already a month late.