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Does the new Foxconn deal with Wisconsin 'save' taxpayers money? Here are some answers

PolitiFact Wisconsin looks at two claims about the high-profile project.
Posted at 6:15 PM, Apr 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-30 19:15:28-04

When the state announced a dramatically downsized deal with Foxconn last week on jobs, investment and taxpayer incentives, Gov. Tony Evers said it would save taxpayers $2.77 billion.

So, this number, the $2.77 billion, is the difference between what former Gov. Scott Walker promised in terms of incentives, which was about $3 billion, and what Gov. Evers is now promising in incentives, which is about $80 million," said Greg Borowski with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

PolitiFact Wisconsin says there's more to the story. Can you really save money that may never have been spent? Before the new agreement, the state had not paid any subsidies to Foxconn and the future seemed uncertain. The state says the tech giant had not met the required job's goal to receive the money.

However, "because of the agreement, the state had to budget that money each year in anticipation that Foxconn might make the standard and get the money," said Borowski, "and therefore that money is saved in the budget because it no longer has to be set aside and spent on Foxconn."

PolitiFact Wisconsin rated this claim Half True.

During the debate over the pros and cons of Foxconn, Republican State Sen. Van Wanggaard played up the benefits of Foxconn.

"He said that Foxconn is the biggest taxpayer in all of Racine County," said Borowski.

PolitiFact Wisconsin says the Racine-area senator was referring to property taxes paid on the current facility in Mount Pleasant.

"Sen. Wanggaard was saying this is an important investment in Racine County, 'look at how big the boom is for our local taxpayers', and he is right, in 2020 Foxconn was the largest taxpayer in Racine County.

PolitiFact Wisconsin rated this claim True.