Sunday, January 14, 2018

"A group of Wisconsin property owners are suing in federal court over local government efforts to take their land as part of the incentive package for a Foxconn factory there."

The 12 property owners hold 18 acres of land that the Village of Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin, is seeking to take via the power of eminent domain.

The Village of Mount Pleasant has agreed to buy the land where Foxconn will build its factory and give it to the company for free as part of a package of state and local government incentives valued at more than $4 billion. The steep cost of the incentive package has sparked criticism in Wisconsin, and is expected to be a major issue in this year's gubernatorial race.

The suit charges that the property owners are getting far less than other property owners who have already sold their land to the town for the factory. The attorney filing the suit, Erik Olsen, said he's not sure if he and his clients will be able to stop the factory from being built. But he argues that the government should have to follow the laws about property purchases, which dictate that all the owners must be treated equally when it comes to pricing.

"My clients believe, and I believe too, that they should be treated justly," he said. "Is it really OK to pay some people multiples of their land value, and other people not? The government has broad powers but not totally arbitrary powers."

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