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Audit: Wisconsin Could Pay For Foxconn Work Done Outside State

State Approved Nearly $3B In Tax Credits To Taiwan-Based Foxconn

Foxconn sign
Chuck Quirmbach/WPR

The Wisconsin Legislative Audit Bureau says the state needs to modify its procedures so tax credits aren’t awarded for Foxconn Technology Group employees who don’t do work in Wisconsin.

The Audit Bureau on Wednesday released its findings that the procedures established by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. don’t comply with the law or the Foxconn contract and that the contract allows for tax credits to be awarded for work that isn’t done in the state.

This is the first time a public question has been raised that some taxpayer-funded Foxconn jobs might not be located in Wisconsin.

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No tax credits have been awarded to Foxconn. The first round would come next year.

WEDC Secretary Mark Hogan said there is “ample opportunity” to consider the audit bureau’s recommendations and make changes if necessary.

Under its deal with Foxconn, Wisconsin would pay more than $200,000 in state taxpayer money per job created. In a written statement, Hogan said the agency has yet to verify any tax credits for Foxconn and would not do so until 2019.

“This provides WEDC with ample opportunity to consider LAB’s recommendations and modify our procedures, if necessary, well before any tax credits are verified. WEDC also will report to the Joint Legislative Audit Committee on the status of our efforts in this matter by Jan. 31,” Hogan said.

The state approved nearly $3 billion in tax credits to Taiwan-based Foxconn for its project near Racine. Foxconn says it plans to invest up to $13 billion and potentially hire 13,000 people at the display screen factory and campus.