The offer comes after the state denied all tax credits for the floundering project.
Foxconn told state officials it will take fewer tax credits “in exchange for a flexible business environment,” according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
The Taiwanese tech giant made the offer in a Nov. 23 letter to the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, more than a month after the WEDC told the company it isn’t eligible for any of its nearly $3 billion in state tax credits because it has repeatedly failed to meet its end of a contract to build a sprawling LCD factory in the Racine County village of Mount Pleasant.
Foxconn, seemingly acknowledging that it was never committed to manufacturing large-panel LCDs in Mount Pleasant, wrote that it now wants its factory to reflect “customer demands and market conditions that at times dictate what we manufacture,” according to the Journal Sentinel. Foxconn and its defenders have blamed evolving market conditions for its failure to live up to expectations.
In the same letter, Foxconn also falsely claimed it had never agreed to build the massive factory, according to The Verge. The company said it was only WEDC’s “belief” that the factory was key to the original agreement.
Foxconn in 2017 signed a contract with the state to build a 20 million-square-foot facility that would employ up to 13,000 people. But the Wisconsin Department of Administration in October found the largest facility Foxconn has constructed—just one-twentieth the size of the factory it is contractually bound to make—is not “designed or equipped” to be an LCD factory.
WEDC also found Foxconn only employed 281 qualifying full-time employees at the end of 2019, far short of the goal to employ 2,080 by then.
Gov. Tony Evers’ administration has for more than a year tried to get Foxconn to renegotiate the contract—something the company originally suggested, yet never presented a proposal for.
While the Foxconn project has disappointed state officials and agencies, local leaders including Racine County Executive Jonathan Delagrave and Mount Pleasant Village President Dave DeGroot maintain they are pleased with the company’s progress. As of January, the company’s buildings in Mount Pleasant were assessed at $522 million. The company has a separate local contract worth up to almost $1 billion in incentives.