Milwaukee residents voice concerns over Foxconn

Posted at 10:10 PM, Aug 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-08 23:22:37-04

Taxpayers in Milwaukee are concerned about what it's really going to cost to fund Foxconn in Wisconsin.

The multi-billion dollar plan has to be approved by legislators. Before casting a vote, local lawmakers want to hear from the public. State Rep. Jonathon Brostoff, a Democrat from Milwaukee, hosted a legislative listening session Tuesday night on the East Side.

As some of the initial excitement of the Foxconn announcement fades, a lot of people have questions.

"I am concerned about the Foxconn deal, I don't know all the details," said Biana Shaw from the Sherman Park neighborhood.

"Where the heck are we getting all this money?" asked an unidentified woman who spoke during the Brostoff's Legislative Listening Session.

Under Gov. Scott Walker's plan, the state will give Foxconn $3 billion in incentives. In return, Foxconn will create up to 13,000 jobs and invest $10 billion into Wisconsin.

"$10 billion investment, $10.5 billion payroll over the next 15 years. Because manufacturing companies of any size, big or small largely don't pay an income tax it takes longer to pay it off, they will eventually pay it off over time," Walker said.

A new report shows the state will eventually break even in 25 years.  But some wonder what happens if the whole venture does not last?  And what happens to money local municipalities pay out for things like roads and sewer?

"Those are expenses we are on the hook for no matter what even if the facility shuts down in five years," said Rachel Quednau, an East Side resident.

Brostoff said these issues need to be discussed before any votes are cast.

"I applaud all of you all for coming out on such short notice because this is what's needed. We need more input from our citizens," Brostoff said.

The Legislature is scheduled to have a public hearing on Foxconn Thursday afternoon in Madison. A committee vote could come next week.

Another listening session is set for Saturday, Aug. 12 at 12:30 p.m. in Milwaukee at Tippecanoe Presbyterian Church, 125 W Saveland Ave. It will be co-hosted by Sen. Chris Larson and Rep. Christine Sinicki.