Mark Born Says No Need To Renegotiate Foxconn’s Deal

(Beaver Dam) A Republican lawmaker says there is no need to renegotiate Wisconsin’s deal with Foxconn. Governor Evers, who has long been critical of the Foxconn deal, renewed his call to strike a new deal last week, saying that Foxconn will not get any tax breaks until it renegotiates its deal with the state officials. State Representative Mark Born discussed the matter with us Friday on WBEV’s Community Comment.

“Yeah, I have no idea what’s going to happen, most of the ball is in the governor’s court,” he says, “I certainly hope that he does not destroy the opportunity. There is a ton of construction that has been good for company’s in this region like Michael’s Corp. I hope it continues.”

Born says that the contract as currently written has enough protections for taxpayers.

“The tax credit is a percentage of employee wages,” he says, “so if they do not employ all those people [they] cannot get a tax credit for wages [they’re] not paying. If you’re not building all the facilities, if you’re not making that investment in the campus, you’re not going to get all those construction credits.”

Administration Secretary Joel Brennan sent a letter to Foxconn last month saying the Taiwanese company will not qualify for any hiring-based tax breaks because Foxconn is moving ahead with a smaller LCD factory than the agreement outlined.

“I don’t know why we care if they are making high-tech items there if they are big or small, if they are employing engineers and computer scientists to run that stuff, that’s good.”

Born pointed to the recent expansion of Milwaukee Tool in Sun Prairie which is receiving state tax credits.

“I didn’t see anyone saying, ‘are they making cordless screw drivers or drills’,” he says, “No one cared. They have good family supporting jobs. That’s the same thing with Foxconn.”

Foxconn said earlier this month that it should be eligible for tax credits this year, because it has more than 520 people on the payroll. A recent legislative audit says Foxconn may be able to get tax breaks from Madison for jobs it creates outside Wisconsin. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos has said that should not happen.