September 13, 2009

Wisconsin’s failed GM bid was $409M

Wisconsin offered nearly $409 million in incentives in a failed bid to entice General Motors to build a new line of small cars in the state, documents show.

More than 300 pages of documents released last week to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel under the state's open records law indicate that state officials at one point upped their ante by $100 million to try to persuade the bankrupt automaker to make the cars at its now-shuttered SUV plant in Janesville, Wis., the newspaper reported Sunday.

The offer reportedly included $213.14 million in concessions from United Auto Workers Local 95, $100 million in Enterprise Zone tax credits and $24 million in discounts from health insurers and providers.

But Michigan ultimately won the plant with a broader incentive package worth $1 billion.

Definitely, it's going to be a loss leader for them, Wisconsin Deputy Secretary of Commerce Aaron Olver told the Journal Sentinel. These types of offers have to be grounded in some kind of economic reality."¦ You see numbers that big -- you just know they don't pencil out in terms of a return to the treasury.