Walker’s Foxconn Flop Tour Continues
Foreign corp. buys vacant buildings as it rolls back plans for high-tech facility
EAU CLAIRE, WI – While Gov. Walker continues to tout his multi-billion-dollar state tax giveaway for Foxconn, the foreign mega-corporation has quietly rolled back its plans for a high-tech manufacturing plant. Having originally promised a massive cutting-edge Gen 10.5 factory near Racine, Foxconn is now focusing on a much smaller Gen 6 facility and a handful of smaller satellite sites around the state. Despite the scaled-back plans, the public cost of this project has increased from an original estimate of $3 billion to over $4.5 billion.
“The cost to taxpayers has already increased 50 percent in the few short months since Foxconn was announced,” said Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse). “While Gov. Walker celebrates yet another taxpayer-funded subsidy for Foxconn, our local schools continue to struggle, our roads are falling apart and we’re seeing an unprecedented spike in farm bankruptcies.”
Foxconn has become the largest state taxpayer giveaway to a foreign corporation in U.S. history. Gov. Walker has increasingly highlighted his tax breaks for corporations in recent months to distract from his record of stagnant wages, an economy that ranks dead last for start-up companies and a trade war that is threatening thousands of Wisconsin jobs. Farmers and small businesses in western Wisconsin are being hit especially hard by the Foxconn tax giveaways as Republicans divert nearly $100 million in state funding away from local roads in order to accelerate Foxconn related projects in southeast Wisconsin.
Numerous media outlets have highlighted a pattern of Foxconn’s broken promises on economic development. The Washington Post detailed a series of “splashy jobs announcements” from Foxconn that promised thousands of jobs and billions in investments that never materialized in Pennsylvania, Indonesia, India, Vietnam and Brazil.