Assembly committee approves Foxconn incentive deal

A proposed incentive package for Foxconn passed its first legislative hurdle at the Capitol on Monday.

The bill provides up to $3 billion in tax credits for an LCD factory in southeastern Wisconsin that the Taiwanese technology company has proposed building, which could eventually employ up to 13,000 workers. Republicans on the Assembly Committee on Jobs and the Economy did approve a GOP-backed amendment and rejected 23 amendments offered by Democrats. The legislation passed on an 8-5 party line vote.

GOP lawmakers on the committee have said it offers a “transformational” opportunity for the state that should not be overlooked. “We cannot look the other way and let this go by,” argued Rep. Bob Kulp (R-Stratford).

However, Democrats were skeptical of the promises being offered by Foxconn, and whether the risk is worth taxpayers possibly not seeing a return on their investment for at least 25 years, as projected by the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau.

“This whole deal is speculation, because I haven’t seen the proof of the value,” said Rep. Jason Fields (D-Glendale). “Three billion dollars is a lot of money to risk…on shoulda, coulda, maybe that will happen.”

The bill now heads to the full Assembly for consideration, which is expected to take up the proposal this Thursday.

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