MADISON – Representative Melissa Sargent (D-Madison), ranking Democratic Assembly member on the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, issued the following statement in response to the Legislative Audit Bureau’s (LAB) Report 19-27, released today:
“Since the very beginning of the backroom Foxconn deal, I have held serious reservations and voiced my concerns at the lack of accountability in place and the company’s inability to deliver on promises made to the state of Wisconsin. Now, over 2 years later, we continue to see Foxconn’s failures to meet contractual requirements while still taking advantage of our state and taxpayers.
Today, the non-partisan Legislative Audit Bureau released Audit Report 19-27, again highlighting the continued inadequacies that Foxconn and their partnership with WEDC present. Since the beginning of this ‘deal’ Foxconn has repeatedly let down Wisconsinites by its inability to show taxpayers what we as a state are getting for these so called ‘investments’. Report 18-8, Report 19-6 and now Report 19-27– again and again audits by the non-partisan LAB have revealed substantial and concerning issues, including the fact that Foxconn continues to award tax credits to employees not performing services in or for Wisconsin, remaining non-compliant with Wisconsin state statutes. Further, under former Secretary Mark Hogan, WEDC did not comply with its contract when it calculated the amount of wages Foxconn paid in 2018 that were eligible for program tax credits, amongst other failed assessments and continued non-compliance with state statutes.
The ongoing failures by Foxconn to fulfill their contract obligations and provide promised jobs and economic benefit for our state, is sadly news that has left many of us unsurprised. However, with a newly appointed WEDC Secretary and the leadership of Governor Tony Evers, I am pleased to see Wisconsin working to hold Foxconn accountable and to ensure that they follow through on the promises made to our state, by not awarding further tax credits until they comply.
In response, Foxconn executive Alan Yeung alleged that Governor Evers is impeding Foxconn’s process with red herrings over contract details. The stark reality is that Foxconn does not have the results that were promised again and again, and has fallen short once again on their own merits— or lack thereof.
As a state legislator and member of the Audit Committee I am committed to my duty to represent hardworking Wisconsinites and to stop corporations from cheating the system for their own financial gain. We as a state cannot afford to continue to see these repeated failures, and I look forward to working to ensure that this cycle ceases to continue any longer into the future.”