Foxconn signing

Gov. Scott Walker and Terry Gou, Foxconn chairman and CEO, shake hands on Nov. 10 to celebrate the signing of a contract between the state and the Foxconn Technology Group. Foxconn plans to build a massive manufacturing campus in the Village of Mount Pleasant. 

RICARDO TORRES ricardo.torres@journaltimes.com

MOUNT PLEASANT — The Joint Board of Review joined the Village of Mount Pleasant and Racine County boards by unanimously approving Wednesday the creation of a tax incremental district and project for Foxconn Technology Group.

This week both boards unanimously approved the local development agreement with Foxconn, the final stakeholder, which is expected to sign the deal Friday.

The company plans to build a massive manufacturing campus on 1,198 acres east of Interstate 94, west of Highway H, north of Highway KR and south of Braun Road.

Taiwanese-based Foxconn, a designer and manufacturer of liquid crystal display (LCD) panels and finished products, plans to build a $10 billion manufacturing campus of 32 million square feet in the southwestern corner of Mount Pleasant, with construction starting next year. The campus is expected to employ up to 13,000 people — excluding an estimated 10,000 construction jobs and many thousands more indirect jobs.

As part of the development agreement, Foxconn will front Mount Pleasant $60 million for land purchases in Area I of the project.

Racine County Executive Jonathan Delagrave said the TID is well constructed and could be paid off earlier than expected, because it is based on conservative numbers.

The return on the TID is only from Area I, Delagrave said. “In Area II and Area III it would be extra, which means we would potentially be able to close the TID early.”

Historic moment

When a TID is closed, the added property taxes it has created begin flowing to the various taxing entities and not just to repay the money spent on infrastructure within the TID.

The Joint Review Board is comprised of one representative from each of the taxing bodies: Racine County, Mount Pleasant, Racine Unified School Board, Gateway Technical College; and one member from the public. 

After the Review Board votes were cast, Village President Dave DeGroot said a historic moment had occurred.

“You’ve just created the single-largest tax increment district in Wisconsin history by a magnitude,” DeGroot told board members.

“In doing so, you will have also created the most successful TID by a similar magnitude, because we already know that it’s going to close early because of the financial strength behind it.”

RUSD ready for 'positive challenge'

Marc Duff, chief financial officer for Unified, sees Foxconn as a benefit to the district in the future.

“(The TID) really won’t affect the taxes that Racine Unified is able to collect … it’s neutral to the district,” Duff said. 

He said the district is happy to be a partner and “will be part of the positive challenges” to the region.

“We’re assuming we’ll have more people moving to the area, having jobs, and their kids will need an education,” Duff said. “And we’re excited about that opportunity to be a partner in this. So, we’ll have planning to do over the next several years.”

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Reporter

Ricardo Torres covers federal, state and Racine County politics along with the Village of Mount Pleasant. He bleeds Wisconsin sports teams.

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