Taxes

Will This Be Scott Walker’s Final Fuck You to Wisconsin?

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

As you've probably heard, Republicans in multiple states are using their lame duck sessions to pass sweeping changes to state law to reduce the power Democrats will have when they take control next month.

Republicans in Wisconsin have gone even further than that, however, and if Governor Scott Walker signs this into law it will ratfuck state taxpayers for many years to come.

The Wisconsin State Journal has found a provision in one of the bills that would eliminate rules that require the state to determine if recipients of tax breaks are actually creating jobs as promised.

It would remove a statutory requirement that the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. annually verify information submitted by tax credit recipients before a company can obtain the tax credit. Under the new bill, WEDC would annually verify only a sample of tax credit claimant information and rely on signed statements from other companies that they had created the required jobs. [...]

Another provision specifies that the WEDC board has the power to appoint and supervise the point person acting on behalf of the state for the $10 billion Foxconn Technology Group manufacturing campus being built in Racine County. Currently, the person works within the Department of Administration.

This is like random drug testing, but for taxpayer subsidies.

This would be significant in any case, but it's even more significant in the context of the Walker administration which has handed $4.5 billion in subsidies and permanent tax breaks over to Taiwanese technology giant Foxconn.

Foxconn's initial promise to create 13,000 jobs was substantially reduced before they even broke ground on a factory that will also be smaller than they originally claimed. Foxconn is currently planning to employ 3,000 or fewer people and many of them will be transferred from overseas according to the Wall Street Journal.

If corporations are placed on an honor system in which they'll only be required to pinky-swear that they're creating jobs instead of actually proving it, I can only imagine the fraud state taxpayers will end up paying for.

It's possible Scott Walker will veto this, but I am extremely skeptical that he will. He's given us no reason to think he would.

  • Badgerite

    Scott Walker will hand the State of Wisconsin a ‘brown bag lunch’ on the way out the door.
    What a guy.

  • Aynwrong

    As I’ve said before, Scott Walker has never been a governor (much like Paul Ryan has never been a US Representative). He’s a middle manager for the Koch brothers.

  • muselet

    Scott Walker will absolutely sign every R-approved bill to come out of the legislature. He doesn’t have to do so—he’s guaranteed a lucrative sinecure at some second-tier Righty think tank, after all—but it’s the perfect raised middle finger at both the people who dared to vote against Rs and the norms of democracy.

    I’ll be glad when I can ignore the antics of the goggle-eyed homunculus hired by Koch Industries to manage its midwast subsidiary formerly known as the state of Wisconsin (h/t Charlie Pierce).

    –alopecia

    • Badgerite

      We could officially change our name to the State Formerly Known as Wisconsin.
      Put up a sign at the border. Welcome to Kochland.
      Me thinks they want Foxconn here so bad so as to have a foreign corporation also pouring money into Wisconsin politics on their behalf. Doing PR work for them, etc. It doesn’t really seem to me like it will create much in terms of jobs for this state even considering the alleged ripple effect. For God sake, they are hiring people from China to do the engineering and such. Foxconn gets a factory built, mostly automated, within the country they want to sell in and near transportation hubs and Wisconsin gets to subsidize them?
      I think this is the gop seeking another corporate sugar daddy for their campaign coffers. This time a foreign one.

  • Tony Lavely

    You’re sure they can’t elect him again?