Foxconn falls short of hiring goals to qualify for first round of tax credits
Assembly Minority Leader Gordon Hintz says Foxconn failing to qualify for the first round of state tax credits is the latest sign the company is scaling back from its original plans for the Wisconsin plant.
The company wrote in the letter to WEDC CEO Mark Hogan that it remains committed to creating 13,000 jobs in Wisconsin, though "we have adjusted our recruitment and hiring timeline."
Hintz, a frequent critic of the incentive package, questioned if the company's past pronouncements were indeed indicative of its plans or more geared toward helping Gov. Scott Walker in his failed re-election bid. The company acknowledged this summer the Racine County plant, at least initially, would build smaller screens than originally proposed.
"It's time we get some transparency on just what is happening and what the public can expect from Foxconn or WEDC," Hintz said.
On Friday, Foxconn reported it had failed to create enough jobs last year to qualify for the first round of tax credits under a nearly $3 billion package the Walker administration negotiated with the Taiwanese manufacturer to build a plant in southeastern Wisconsin.
The company could still qualify for the first year of credits under its contract if it hits future goals.
The company reported to WEDC CEO Mark Hogan last week that it created 1,032 jobs in support of the project with 178 of those meeting the requirement for the tax credits included in the incentive package.
But that was 82 jobs short of the minimum 260 needed to qualify for the credits.
The credits are based on the salaries paid to Foxconn employees with a cap of $9.5 million in the first year of the contract.
To recoup the tax credits it missed in year one, Foxconn would have to exceed its target of 2,080 full-time jobs for 2019. The company could then apply for 2018 credits for any additional jobs on the payroll beyond that target.
In the letter to Hogan, Foxconn's Dr. Louis Woo, a special assistant to the CEO, highlighted what he wrote were the company's accomplishments in 2018. That includes:
*investing more than $200 million with 95 percent of all contracts going to Wisconsin companies.
*buying buildings in Racine, Green Bay and Racine for innovation centers, along with one in Milwaukee for the company's North American headquarters.
*and completing a 120,000 square-foot multipurpose building.
"In 2018, we made the strategic decision to broaden the base of our investment within the State of Wisconsin, far beyond what we initially planned, to ensure the company and our workforce will be positioned for long term success," Woo wrote.
Hogan said the company has made "extensive progress" on its Racine County plant and demonstrated a commitment to Wisconsin. He also stressed the company would only see the promised tax credits if it meets job creation and capital investment requirements. †
"Foxconn remains committed to creating 13,000 jobs, and we look forward to working with the
company as it continues to build out the Wisconn Valley Science and Technology Park and its
other investments throughout Wisconsin," Hogan said.
See the letter: