Kimberly-Clark would be able to take advantage of new tax incentives if it keeps two of its Wisconsin plants open, under a bill approved by the Assembly Thursday night.
The proposal would offer the company benefits similar to those used to lure Foxconn to the state last year, including job retention tax credits of 17 percent of payroll. State Representative Mike Rohrkaste (R-Neenah), who represents the region where the plants marked for closure are located, said it could help protect those 600 jobs and the others that depend on Kimberly-Clark’s presence.
“We are talking about a real solution that will keep good paying jobs here in Wisconsin,” he said. “This will give Kimberly-Clark the opportunity to improve their business plan and be here for the long run.”
Democrats argued the proposal sets a bad precedent though and could encourage other companies to request similar benefits by threatening to leave the state. State Representative Amanda Stuck (D-Appleton) also noted that the company used federal tax cuts approved last year to justify the cuts in the first place.
Kimberly-Clark did not ask for the incentive package and has only said it will take it into consideration.
The bill passed on a 56-37 vote. It now heads to the state Senate.