Monday, October 9, 2017

"Foxconn growth could be staggering, but risks are real for Racine County, Wisconsin"

"In Mount Pleasant, a proposed flat-screen plant could trigger explosive growth, adding $1.4 billion of tax base to a village in which all the properties added up to just $2.5 billion last year. 

"The village and Racine County could win outsized rewards by investing $764 million to help Foxconn Technology Group of Taiwan turn farm fields into one of the world's largest manufacturing campuses.

"But the complex project also brings revolution and risk, as local governments borrow for and build everything from sidewalks to sewers, streets and fiber optic cable lines.

"The local agreement with Foxconn provides an unusual series of safeguards against failure — from guaranteed property tax payments by the company to a big financial cushion, land held as collateral by taxpayers and triggers to block incentives for Foxconn if the deal is going badly.

"'It's more protected from loss than any (such deal) that I've seen,' said Dale Knapp, a research director for the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance who reviewed the 39-page plan."

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