The Top Stories say it all – costs continue to escalate, up to $4.5 Billion (and counting) at this time, while Wisconsin Voters take heed to the fact that “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is“.
From Assembly Democratic Leader Representative Gordon Hintz:
More from the Hintz Press Release:
“We already knew that the FoxConn deal represented the largest taxpayer giveaway by a state to a foreign corporation in our country’s history. And we knew that due to the Man and Ag tax credit, FoxConn is already not paying any taxes, therefore making these new tax credits cash payments.
What this memo details is a bad deal is getting worse.
Since the FoxConn deal was announced, the pattern has been predictable:
FoxConn asks Governor Walker to jump, he asks ‘how high?’ Whether the request is to lower environmental regulations or raid $134 million from the state high rehabilitation fund to pay for local roads supporting
FoxConn, the Walker Administration has given blanket approval.”
Governor Walker’s track record on large-scale job creation and economic development projects shows one failure after another.
Each of his failed economic development plans also happen to coincide with upcoming election cycles.
- Kestrel received $25 million in tax incentives to create over 600 jobs in Superior. Few jobs were created and the Superior community is left holding the bag on loan repayments.
This deal was announced the day before the recall petition was filed against Governor Walker.
- The Governor tried hard give Gogebic Taconite the kitchen sink to bring mining jobs back to Wisconsin. They left in 2015. No jobs were created. And the miner on our flag remains a symbol of our past.
- During his first campaign, he said over and over that he was going to create 250,000 jobs in four years, a number he still hasn’t achieved in over seven years.
“The costs of this project should alarm every Wisconsin family. This memo shows a 50% increase from the initially reported state investment. We will be pay for this now and long into the future, both in the direct costs and opportunity costs in cuts to K – 12 education and the UW System in upcoming budgets.”
“Governor Walker is in an election year. He will say and do anything to get re-elected, even if it means selling Wisconsin’s future for the FoxConn deal. Despite the Governor’s political motives, every Wisconsin family deserves to know how much higher the price tag of FoxConn will go.”
The Memo is available by clicking on: Hintz Memo
Meanwhile, from The Intercept:
Stunning Special Election in Wisconsin Shows Scott Walker’s Foxconn Deal Isn’t the Political Winner It Was Sold as
Scott Walker, who is running for a third term as Wisconsin governor this November, thought he had found political dynamite by wooing tech manufacturer Foxconn to Wisconsin with billions in taxpayer giveaways.
Yet this week, Democrats ran in special elections against the corporate welfare project, with one pulling off a stunning upset and another losing a race by 14 points after Hillary Clinton had been beaten in the same district in the 2016 election by more than 40.
Walker took to late-night Twitter, warning that the upset should be a “wake-up call” for his party, whose supporters in groups like Americans for Prosperity spent some $50,000 trying to keep the seat red.
Medical examiner Patty Schachtner was only able to run for the state Senate seat because Walker had plucked the incumbent out and appointed him to his administration, confident that the seat, which Republicans had held for nearly 20 years, would remain safely red. Schachtner won in a landslide.
In 2016, Donald Trump carried the same district, SD10, by nearly 20 points. The surprising win — combined with other progressive victories and Randy Bryce’s populist campaign against House Speaker Paul Ryan — is being viewed as a bellwether for both Wisconsin and national politics, injecting hope into the idea that Democrats can contest for seemingly safe GOP offices.
“The thing to remember about the state tax portion of this is that these are tax credits. It’s not just that Foxconn won’t pay taxes on their profits,” Brown told The Intercept. “The state of Wisconsin is literally going to be writing a check to Foxconn, and that’s money that won’t go to supporting Main Street businesses, public schools, or maintaining roads and bridges.”
“Wisconsinites are seeing businesses leave their communities without any effort being made to keep them there,” he said. “Those are good-paying, family-supporting, blue-collar jobs that are now gone. Where was the state package to try and keep those jobs here?”
The budget for the Foxconn project has ballooned recently. Originally pitched by Walker as a $3 billion state investment this summer, official estimates released this week suggest that the project will end up costing around $4.5 billion in public funds. Thanks to measures passed through the legislature in September, Foxconn will receive the largest tax break that a U.S. state has ever offered a corporation. Communities around the proposed plant will shell out, too, including $764 million from the tiny village of Mount Pleasant, where the factory will be located. Since there isn’t currently the infrastructure to support the massive campus, municipalities in the surrounding area will need to invest in costly upgrades to things like roads and water systems. Walker also hopes to spend $6.8 million on an ad campaign to bring in out-of-state workers. In return, Foxconn has told Wisconsinites their plan could create some 13,000 jobs, though exactly who gets those jobs — and how many of them will actually materialize — remains to be seen.
While WILL – the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty continues the good fight for demanding that local governments stop abusing and misapplying TIF laws in order to protect Taxpayers and Communities, and reestablish the Rule of Law, Equal Rights, and Equal Protection for ALL!
January 16, 2018 – Eau Claire, WI – On behalf of Voters With Facts, an Eau Claire volunteer organization, and multiple individuals whose taxes will be affected, the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty filed a notice of claim with the City of Eau Claire on Friday, challenging the legality of newly-created Tax Incremental District (TID) #12. The challenge comes as the Wisconsin Supreme Court is set to review the legality of Eau Claire TIDs #8 and #10.
Tax incremental financing is an extraordinary mechanism that cities may use only in precisely limited situations. Cities are allowed to create TIDs, borrow money to pay for improvements within the TID to encourage new development, and then dedicate the taxes paid on that new development to repaying the loans. Among many other requirements, a TID can only be created if the new development within the TID wouldn’t occur unless a TID is created. In other words, if new projects would happen in the area anyway, then creating a TID is not only unnecessary, it is not allowed. Those new projects should be placed on the ordinary tax rolls like any other property.
Eau Claire is claiming that without TID #12, the Aspenson Mogensen Hall, at 222 Water Street, would not be built. But the Hall is already built. The building was completed in 2017 and UW-Eau Claire students had already moved into the upper-floor apartments before city government approved TID #12.
“It is unlawful to approve a TID project plan that relies on ‘incremental’ tax revenue from property that was fully developed before the TID was enacted,” explained Rick Esenberg, President and General Counsel of WILL. “Capturing existing developments in a TID removes the property from the allocable tax base, and burdens other taxpayers with taxes that would otherwise be allocated to the new property.”
Please join Cindy and I is JUST SAYING NO to allowing Governor Scott Walker, Representatives Robin Vos, Cory Mason & MTP President David DeGroot to violate the Wisconsin Constitution (and their Oath of Office) by granting special rights to Corporate interests, stealing people’s property, destroying multi-generational Farms alongside an entire long established Community, loosening environmental protections, permitting heavy metals water pollution, instituting slave labor wages, providing taxpayer subsidies to multi-billionaire Corporations, and politician overreach.