Analysts: Wis. Won't Break Even on Foxconn Deal for Decades

State won't see benefits until 2042 at the earliest
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 9, 2017 12:58 AM CDT
Wisconsin Might Take 25 Years to Break Even on Foxconn Deal
A lone protester holds up a sign as the Assembly Committee on Jobs and Economy meets about the incentive deal for Taiwan-based Foxconn Technology Group, Thursday, Aug. 3, 2017, at the state Capitol in Madison, Wis.   (Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP)

President Trump says a deal to bring a $10 billion Foxconn plant to Wisconsin will bring "magnificent decades"—but analysts warn that it could be decades before the state sees any benefit from the deal. The non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau, which provides analysis for the state legislature, predicts that it will be at least 25 years before the state breaks even on the $3 billion package of incentives it has offered the Taiwanese electronics giant, Reuters reports. Gov. Scott Walker has offered the company $2.85 billion in tax credits, along with tax breaks on construction materials and exemption from environmental regulations. The deal still needs the approval of the state legislature.

The analysis found that according to an optimistic model of increased tax revenues after the plant opens in 2020, the state will break even in the 2042-2043 fiscal year, the AP reports. But numerous variables could push the date back even further, including the location of the plant. Foxconn is believed to be looking at a site just across the Illinois border and if a significant proportion of the plant's workers live out of state, it could mean several more years before Wisconsin breaks even, analysts say. Much will also depend on whether Foxconn follows through on its promise to expand employment from 3,000 to 13,000 workers. (Walker says critics of the "once in a lifetime" deal "can go suck lemons.")

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