The Wisconsin chapter of the conservative group Americans for Prosperity is making a rare break with Gov. Scott Walker and coming out against a $3 billion tax incentive package that’s part of a deal to encourage Foxconn Technology Group to build a plant in the state.
Eric Bott, director of Americans for Prosperity-Wisconsin, released a statement Thursday saying his group can’t support the refundable tax credits offered in the deal signed by Walker. The AFP’s national group is funded by the conservative billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch.
Bott says the group is an advocate of free marks and, as such, “staunchly” opposes government tax incentives.
It’s doubtful the group’s opposition will stop the proposal, which is moving quickly through the Republican-controlled state Legislature. Its statement came as an Assembly committee was holding a public hearing on the bill.
Meanwhile, Madison Mayor Paul Soglin said has offered up a shuttered Oscar-Mayer plant as a potential site for a electronics giant Foxconn.
Foxconn has agreed to build a $10 billion plant in southeastern Wisconsin. Walker has authored a bill that would hand the company $3 billion in incentives.
Soglin said Thursday that Madison Region Economic Partnership officials told him last week that Foxconn is interested in building a 600-job facility in Madison and was looking for open green space.
The mayor said he offered up the Oscar-Mayer plant, which is in the city, as well as two other green fields. He acknowledged Foxconn isn’t looking for an existing urban facility but the Oscar-Mayer plant makes sense for the company.
Soglin, who is mulling a run for governor, called Walker’s $3 billion incentive package “over the top.” He warned that Madison wouldn’t get into a “race to the bottom” in incentives and doesn’t need to “give away the farm” to get Foxconn.