By Genevieve Adamski, The Pointer
Foxconn, the Taiwan-based electronics giant plans to invest $10 billion to build a new manufacturing plant to produce LCD panels in southeastern Wisconsin.
The proposed deal includes relaxing some environmental regulations which has environmental implications, ranging from chemical usage to the impact a plant of its size will have on the surrounding watershed.
The exemptions could mean the destruction of state-regulated wetlands, dredging a stream and changing the course of a stream without obtaining a state permit.
Wisconsin’s offer to Foxconn includes up to $1.5 billion in income tax credits for job creation, $1.35 billion in income tax credits for capital investment and up to $150 million in sales tax exemptions for the purchase of construction materials. The incentives would be pro-rated and therefore based on how much is spent and how many jobs are created.
Justin Seis, senior sociology and environmental ethics major said “Foxconn has a terrible track record regarding worker safety and wellness, therefore I believe the money should be invested into local businesses who will hire Wisconsin workers. The environmental laws are in place for a reason and should be enforced.”
The proposed plant would be the largest economic development project in Wisconsin history. The facility is expected to create between 3,000 to 13,000 new jobs and it should be completed by 2020.
Democratic legislator Rep. Katrina Shankland for Stevens Point said “In the best case scenario, it would take 25 years to break even- assuming 13,000 jobs are made. However, there are no minimum requirement for the number of jobs and no deadline.”
She also said that the facility is the size of three pentagons and $312 million of tax-payer money would be allocated to Foxconn every year which is ten times the University of Wisconsin System budget.
Most of her constituents are asking for a better deal and like the concept of jobs but believe it is a raw deal for tax-payers. They want a deal where Wisconsin workers get the first crack at the jobs and that Foxconn complies with environmental state laws just like every other business.
Residents with questions or concerns, you can contact Rep. Shankland at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 608-267-9649.
The $3 billion package of incentives promised by Gov. Scott Walker was approved by the State Assembly. It is now under consideration by the Senate Joint Finance Committee.