Friday, December 8, 2017

Walker's Foxconn cash handout Unconstitutional? Right Wing Lawsuit happy "Institute" might kill Deal.

Sweet irony: The conservative lawsuit mill Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty might put a stop to taxpayer handouts to Foxconn and other corporate crybabies begging for money. 

And don't expect the partisan and incompetent DOJ to make a coherent legal argument either to stop this train wreck from happening. This is what happens when Republican ideology collides with contradictory and convenient...Republican ideology. Excuse my gloating. 
The $10 billion Foxconn factory in Racine County could be “imperiled” by a lawsuit challenging an economic development project in Eau Claire, according to the state Department of Justice. At issue is whether local economic incentives can result in cash payments to a private developer or company — which in the Eau Claire case include $1.5 million, but in the Foxconn case total $100 million.

The state wants in to intervene in the lawsuit, Voters with Facts v. City of Eau Claire, filed on behalf of some Eau Claire taxpayers who say the city abused Wisconsin's tax incremental financing law that includes cash payments to a private developer or company.

The lawsuit brought by the conservative Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty on behalf of the taxpayers is currently before the state Supreme Court. Solicitor General Misha Tseytlin says that if the court were to side with the plaintiffs, it "would imperil numerous projects critical to Wisconsin's economic growth, including the Village of Mount Pleasant's recent agreement with Foxconn Technology Group." That project includes $100 million in cash incentives.

The case is now before the state Supreme Court after both the district court and an appellate court ruled in favor of the city.
Rick Esenberg, the lawyer for the plaintiffs in the Eau Claire lawsuit, is arguing that the $1.5 million direct payment plus half of the redevelopment payment are an illegal property tax rebate for the property owner, which would violate the state Constitution’s requirement that property taxes be assessed in a uniform manner, known as the uniformity clause. Esenberg said it’s possible the argument could also apply to Foxconn.