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MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers and Foxconn Technology Group announced Monday that a new agreement had been reached between the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) and Foxconn regarding the company’s project in Mount Pleasant.
The next step in the process involves a review of the amended agreement by the WEDC Board. That meeting is scheduled for Tuesday. A WEDC spokesperson declined to elaborate on the contract before the meeting.
The Associated Press on Monday, citing a source familiar with the revised agreement, reported that the tax incentives available to Foxconn Technology Group were worth more than $10 million.
Foxconn, a Taiwan-based contract manufacturer best known for making Apple iPhones, originally agreed in 2017 to invest $10 billion in a flat-screen panel manufacturing complex on 2,500 acres in Mount Pleasant in exchange for nearly $4 billion in state and local tax incentives. The company was to employ up to 13,000 people.
Project Reduced in Scope
Although Foxconn ultimately did construct approximately 1 million square feet of buildings on the site and is reportedly the largest property taxpayer in the Village of Mount Pleasant, the company significantly reduced the planned project’s size and scope. The company has also repeatedly missed its hiring goals that would have triggered tax credit payments from the State of Wisconsin.
Foxconn changed the scope of the manufacturing facility from a Generation 10.5 plant that produces large flat-screen electronic panels to a Generation 6 plant that makes smaller thin-film transistor liquid crystal display screens for cellphones and other devices. Over the past several months, the company has announced several different initiatives for the Mount Pleasant facility, including automated coffee dispensers, ventilator components, face masks, and, most recently, electric vehicles.
The company employed 281 people in Wisconsin in 2019 – the most recent year that employment data was available, according to the WEDC.
Because of Foxconn’s changing plans, the Evers administration called on the state’s contract with the company to be rewritten. Negotiations have been ongoing between the WEDC and Foxconn, the state has reported.
State, Local Reaction
“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,” said Evers said in a statement released Monday morning. “I’m incredibly grateful for all the folks at the WEDC and Foxconn for their help working to find a solution that works for everyone, and I look forward to the amendment being approved by the WEDC Board of Directors.”
“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 the meet market demand,” said Dr. Jay Lee, Foxconn Technology group vice chairman in a statement. “We are grateful to Governor Evers, Missy Hughes, and our team at Foxconn for finding a solution that can go before and be approved by the WEDC Board of Directors.”
A joint statement released by Racine County and the Village of Mount Pleasant said this: “We are pleased the state and Foxconn have reached an agreement and look forward to continued progress on the campus in Racine County.”