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Senate leader: Foxconn should get deadlines on job returns

Wisconsin offered $3 billion package

FILE PHOTO - The logo of Foxconn, the trading name of Hon Hai Precision Industry, is seen on top of the company’s headquarters in New Taipei City, Taiwan on March 29, 2016. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu/File Photo
FILE PHOTO - The logo of Foxconn, the trading name of Hon Hai Precision Industry, is seen on top of the company’s headquarters in New Taipei City, Taiwan on March 29, 2016. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu/File Photo

Taiwanese manufacturing company Foxconn should have a deadline to create the 13,000 jobs it has promised to bring to Wisconsin in exchange for a $3 billion incentive package funded by state taxpayers, the state Senate’s leader said Thursday.

“Let’s say we go through all these hoops, and the locals do as well ... but then the jobs don’t show up,” Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald told a talk radio show host Thursday morning. “There’s no timeline necessarily for job creation, and I think that’s got a lot of people nervous.”

Later Thursday, after Senate Republicans met with members of Gov. Scott Walker’s administration who are negotiating with Foxconn, Fitzgerald said he was assured such deadlines could be worked into the contract being drafted.

Lawmakers do not have a final say on that contract, however.

Fitzgerald also said he still hasn’t sought to find out whether he has enough votes in his caucus to pass legislation authored by Walker that provides $2.9 billion in refundable tax credits to Foxconn over 15 years, exempts the company from another $150 million in sales taxes on construction materials and equipment, and waives environmental regulations.

Foxconn Technology Group wants to build a 20 million-square-foot LCD panel manufacturing campus — its first in the United States — in Racine or Kenosha counties and has promised to hire 13,000 workers.

An analysis released this week by the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau shows the state will not begin to recoup the money it provides Foxconn in tax credits until 2043.

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