State Would Recoup Foxconn investment in 25 years, Estimate Shows

A new analysis released Tuesday by the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau shows taxpayers would pay to Foxconn Technology Group about $1 billion more than the state received in tax revenues during the first 15 years of the project, and that the state would start to recoup those payments starting in 2043 — or a quarter of a century after the project starts.

A Foxconn-commissioned analysis shows that once the plant is up and running, for every 10 jobs created there, 17 jobs would be created elsewhere in the state and that the facility’s operations would support more than 35,000 jobs statewide — a figure that includes the 13,000 planned to be at the campus itself.

Fiscal bureau director Bob Lang, who authored the analysis, noted the review focuses only on the impacts of the Foxconn project on the state’s finances, and does not account for other benefits to the state’s economy and residents. Foxconn would spend $6.70 for each public dollar, for example.

But Lang also warned that any cash-flow analysis that covers a nearly 30-year time frame must be considered “highly speculative, especially for a manufacturing facility and equipment that may have a limited useful life.”

Under fiscal estimates from state agencies released Tuesday, the state’s payments to fulfill the incentive package would reach their peak by fiscal 2023, when the state would annually be sending $119.5 million in income tax credits and $192.9 million in capital expenditure credits to the Apple iPhone manufacturer that wants to build LCD panels in Wisconsin.

The estimate from the Department of Revenue also shows annual payroll for the proposed campus would reach $703.4 million annually.

Fiscal estimates from state agencies released on Tuesday also show provisions exempting Foxconn from sales taxes on construction materials and equipment would result in $139 million the company would not need to pay. Local governments would have gotten about $10.7 million in revenue if the exemptions were not in place and Foxconn created the same campus at the same size investment, the estimates show.