Wisconsin Board Clears the Way for $3 Billion Foxconn Contract

Wisconsin's economic development board approved the key terms of a contract Wednesday implementing a $3 billion incentive package for a Foxconn Technology Group plant in the state, including a personal guarantee from the company's leader to protect state taxpayers.

The deal, completed two months after the Legislature approved the incentives, calls for Foxconn Chairman and CEO Terry Gou to personally guarantee one-fourth of any potential payback if the company fails to meet investment and employment benchmarks.

Gov. Scott Walker and Foxconn officials planned to sign the contract Friday. It ties hundreds of millions in tax credits to the number of jobs the Taiwanese electronics giant creates at the facility each year. It also allows the state to recoup the money if the company fails to meet the benchmarks, key provisions sought by critics of the subsidy.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation's board approved a staff summary of the contract on an 8-2 vote during a closed-door meeting. Approval of the summary authorizes agency officials to complete the deal.

"The fine line was to balance the needs of the company and the needs of the state," WEDC chief executive Mark Hogan said after the vote. "We look forward to the next few years when Foxconn becomes a premiere company not just in Wisconsin but in the United States."

Foxconn officials want to build a $10 billion flat-screen manufacturing plant in Mount Pleasant, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of Milwaukee. The company has said the facility could employ between 3,000 and 13,000 people.

Walker, who faces re-election next year, signed the unprecedented legislation approving the incentives package in September. It provides the company nearly $3 billion in refundable tax credits from 2018 until 2032, including $1.5 billion in payroll tax credits, up to $1.35 billion in credits on expenditures for fixed assets such as land and buildings...

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