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Union concessions big part of $409 million incentive package in failed bid

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JAMES P. LEUTE
September 14, 2009
— Concessions by United Auto Workers Local 95 accounted for more than half of the state's $409 million incentive package that failed to convince General Motors to park small car production at its shuttered Janesville plant.

The failed bid to save jobs in Janesville is being heralded as an incentive model that's helped retain Mercury Marine jobs in Fond du Lac and expand the workforce at Oshkosh Corp., the recent winner of a new multibillion-dollar military contract.


"Everything that we were able to get into the budget came about because of General Motors," state Commerce Secretary Richard Leinenkugel told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.


The incentives that Wisconsin offered to GM were detailed in more than 300 pages of documents that the Journal Sentinel obtained under the state's open records law.


The Wisconsin package fell far short of the $1 billion that Michigan offered for new small car production in Orion Township and job guarantees at a dozen other plants in the state.


The Wisconsin package included nearly $163 million from state and local governments, and the balance of $246 million came from private sources, including Local 95 in Janesville.


The state was willing to contribute $115 million. Rock County chipped in $20 million, and the city of Janesville added $15 million plus a $10 million commitment to take over the automaker's wastewater treatment plant.


In addition to the UAW concessions, Dean Health Care and Mercy Health System offered GM a $24 million discount on health care costs, and Alliant Energy proposed more than $8 million in energy savings.


Incentive details

Details of Wisconsin's largest economic incentive package—nearly $409 million—offered to General Motors during the bidding war with Michigan and Tennessee over the location of a small-car factory:


State and local governments: $162.95 million


-- $100 million in Enterprise Zone tax credits


-- $10 million in forgiveness of prior economic-development incentive penalties


-- $5 million energy grant


-- $20 million from Rock County


-- $15 million from Janesville


-- $10 million Janesville commitment to take over GM's wastewater treatment plant


-- $2 million from Beloit


-- $951,000 from U.S. Department of Labor for training at Blackhawk Technical College


Private: $246.04 million


-- $213.14 million in United Auto Workers Local 95 concessions


-- $24 million from health care providers/insurers over five years


-- $8.4 million from Alliant Energy Corp.*


-- $500,000 in local, private company contributions


*The value of the Alliant incentive was not disclosed but was calculated based on other incentives disclosed by the state.


Source: State of Wisconsin Janesville task force presentation to GM

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