There is, about Foxconn in Wisconsin, a fair amount of ignorant insistence that there will be supply chain opportunities, etc. Public employees talking about the Foxconn project’s supposed benefit is the practical equivalent letting them recite limericks or play sheepshead: it’s not productive.
For those near Foxconn, however, that project is more than wasteful talk: it’s a fiscal and environmental disaster in the making.
Bruce Murphy asks is Mount Pleasant [the] Biggest Foxconn Loser?:
Mount Pleasant’s annual budget is just over $15 million, yet in late 2017 the village and Racine County (whose budget was $151.6 million that year) jointly approved a figure 50 times higher than the village’s budget — $764 million in spending — for land acquisition, road construction and new sewer and water lines, all for the Foxconn project.
The amount of borrowing led Moody’s Investors Service to lower Mount Pleasant’s credit rating last September and in January Moody’s added another cautionary note, as the Journal Sentinel reported.
The village expects to recoup the entire cost of the project through a Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) district it has created. Its financial consultant has estimated the Foxconn TIF will generate $30 million of revenue a year, based on Foxconn being assessed for $1.4 billion in taxable improvements by January 1, 2023. And if the company doesn’t meet this target by then, which seems increasingly likely, it will still be taxed based on $1.4 billion in improvements under the contract.
But what if the company refuses to pay? What if it folds up its tent and leaves town? Then the village would have to go to court to try and enforce the contract.
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) represents much of Racine County and portions of Mount Pleasant, and he promised that Foxconn would deliver “a $10 billion development project, 13,000 careers and new opportunities throughout Wisconsin. The Foxconn project is a worthwhile investment that will transform our state and help build a strong, healthy economy.”
So when taxpayers look for who to blame when their massive investment is not repaid, they might look first to their local state representative. Which might explain why Vos is desperately trying to blame Gov. Tony Evers for Foxconn’s reduction in the size of the project.
Meanwhile, Jim Newtown reports Wisconsin Foxconn development could bring record flooding to Gurnee:
A study conducted for the Lake County Stormwater Management Commission projects Des Plaines River water levels will rise several inches as a result of Wisconsin’s Foxconn Technology Group development, and officials said Gurnee could see record-breaking floods as a result.
In a report to the Gurnee Village Board Monday night, Gurnee Community Development Director David Ziegler told the board current site work and the first phase of the Foxconn project is projected to add about 2 inches of additional water to current levels, but at build-out, that number could well reach over 6 inches.
Soaked or soaked: Soaked financially if the project likely fails, and soaked environmentally if it improbably succeeds.
Previously: 10 Key Articles About Foxconn, Foxconn as Alchemy: Magic Multipliers, Foxconn Destroys Single-Family Homes, Foxconn Devours Tens of Millions from State’s Road Repair Budget, The Man Behind the Foxconn Project, A Sham News Story on Foxconn, Another Pig at the Trough, Even Foxconn’s Projections Show a Vulnerable (Replaceable) Workforce, Foxconn in Wisconsin: Not So High Tech After All, Foxconn’s Ambition is Automation, While Appeasing the Politically Ambitious, Foxconn’s Shabby Workplace Conditions, Foxconn’s Bait & Switch, Foxconn’s (Overwhelmingly) Low-Paying Jobs, The Next Guest Speaker, Trump, Ryan, and Walker Want to Seize Wisconsin Homes to Build Foxconn Plant, Foxconn Deal Melts Away, “Later This Year,” Foxconn’s Secret Deal with UW-Madison, Foxconn’s Predatory Reliance on Eminent Domain, Foxconn: Failure & Fraud, Foxconn Roundup: Desperately Ill Edition, Foxconn Roundup: Indiana Layoffs & Automation Everywhere, Foxconn Roundup: Outside Work and Local Land, Foxconn Couldn’t Even Meet Its Low First-Year Goal, Foxconn Talks of Folding Wisconsin Manufacturing Plans, WISGOP Assembly Speaker Vos Hopes You’re Stupid, Lost Homes and Land, All Over a Foxconn Fantasy, Laughable Spin as Industrial Policy, Foxconn: The ‘State Visit Project,’ ‘Inside Wisconsin’s Disastrous $4.5 Billion Deal With Foxconn,’ Foxconn: When the Going Gets Tough…, The Amazon-New York Deal, Like the Foxconn Deal, Was Bad Policy, Foxconn Roundup, Foxconn: The Roads to Nowhere, Foxconn: Evidence of Bad Policy Judgment, Foxconn: Behind Those Headlines, Foxconn: On Shaky Ground, Literally, Foxconn: Heckuva Supply Chain They Have There…, Foxconn: Still Empty, and the Chairman of the Board Needs a Nap and Foxconn: Cleanup on Aisle 4.