New information from the state reveals the true total cost for the Foxconn project could be near $4.5 billion in taxpayers dollars, about fifty percent more than Governor Walker initially projected.
The payment doesn't sit well with Racine County resident Beverly Drechsler.
"It wasn't supposed to be that much was it?" she questioned. "I feel sorry for the people in the area. They have to give up so much."
It's also a surprise to Foxconn supporter Jerry McNamara.
"It's a lot of money to spend, but in order to take on a project with as much upside as this I think you have to be willing to take some risks," he said.
The individual cost figures are nothing new, they just hadn't been put together before. The total taxpayer cost for Foxconn's massive liquid panel display manufacturing plant along Highway 11 in Mount Pleasant was requested by Assembly Minority Leader Gordon Hintz. The nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau said the $4.5 billion is broken down as follows:
A bulk of it comes from state tax credits of nearly $3 billion, which includes a tax break for materials to build the new Foxconn campus. Around $780 million specifically falls on taxpayers in Racine County.
Road improvements along I-94 North/South plus frontage roads leading to the facility cost more than half a billion dollars. Then there are utilities and worker training costs.
HOW IT ALL ADDS UP:
- State tax incentives package - $2.85 billion
- State sales tax exemption - $139 million
- Local government incentives - $764 million
- Local government grants - $15 million
- U.S. Interstate 94 North/South - $408 million
- Road improvements - $134 million
- Utility costs - $140 million
- Employee training - $20 million
- TOTAL: $4.47 billion
Despite the new number, Governor Scott Walker does not believe taxpayers were mislead.
"No, I think if you look at any project here in Milwaukee, there's things the state offers," he said. "There are costs to the city and the Wisconsin center district and the county and others involved, absolutely."
Walker says the benefits outweigh the costs. Average pay for up to 13,000 employees at the Foxconn plant will be around $53,800. Walker expects a ripple effect will create 22,000 indirect jobs.