Foxconn Technology Group, the world's largest electronics manufacturer, reached a new deal with reduced tax breaks for its scaled-back manufacturing facility in Mt. Pleasant, Wis., Gov. Tony Evers (D) and the Taiwan firm announced April 19.
Evers and Jay Lee, company vice chairman, announced the new agreement and a resolution that has been submitted for approval to the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. (WEDC). Foxconn has not met hiring targets for tax breaks under the previous state deal made in 2017 by then-Gov. Scott Walker (R) The company employed 281 people in 2019 in Wisconsin, according to the state.
The WEDC Board approved the new deal April 20. Foxconn is eligible for up to $80 million total in performance-based tax credits over six years if it meets employment and capital investment targets.That's $2.77 billion less in tax incentives than its 2017 deal.
“I’ve said all along that my goal as governor would be to find an agreement that works for Wisconsin taxpayers while providing the support Foxconn needs to be successful here in our state,” Evers said in a statement. “I’m incredibly grateful to ... WEDC and Foxconn for their help working to find a solution that works for everyone, and I look forward to the amendment being approved.”
While contractor Gilbane/Exyte completed the 1-million-sq-ft campus' manufacturing facility on time in 2020, the main production building has never produced flat screens for televisions that Foxconn originally said it would produce. During the design phase, FoxConn shifted its focus to production of flat screens for cellular phones, blaming the economic situation before and during the pandemic for the many changes in mission. Plans to produce everything from servers to electric cars have been floated.
“In response to unforeseeable economic conditions, Foxconn began formal negotiations with a desire to lower taxpayer liability in exchange for the flexibility to pursue business opportunities that meet market demand,” said Lee.