Public hearing on Kimberly-Clark tax incentives set for Wednesday

MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) - A public hearing is on the Nov. 14 legislative schedule for lawmakers to discuss a tax incentive package to keep Kimberly-Clark in the Fox Valley.

The Joint Committee on Finance will meet at 10 a.m. at the State Capitol in Madison on Assembly Bill 963: "Relating to: authorizing certain tax benefits for a paper products manufacturer with facilities in the city of Neenah and village of Fox Crossing and making an appropriation."

Kimberly-Clark announced earlier this year global restructuring plans that include the closure of Neenah Nonwovens, and possible closure of the Cold Spring facility in Fox Crossing.

K-C decided to delay a decision on Cold Spring to give the state time to pass a tax incentives package worth about $100 million.

The two plants combined employ about 600 workers.

It remains unclear if the bill has enough support to pass. It passed the Assembly during the last legislative session, but failed to make it to the senate floor.

State Sen. Roger Roth of Appleton is a co-sponsor of the bill. He's been working to get other lawmakers on board.

"Once we have that hearing then we're going to continue to have conversations. I know the union and the corporation, Kimberly-Clark, are working, just educating members on both sides of the aisle, bringing them up, doing tours," Roth said. "We're going to be doing those sorts of things over the next few weeks and my goal is to get his into a position where we've got enough support to make it pass here by the end of the month."

Outgoing Republican Gov. Scott Walker has indicated support for the tax incentives bill. Walker was unseated by Democrat Tony Evers in the midterm election. Walker will still be in power if the bill advances to a vote this month.

"Regardless of what happened in the election, I know the governor and everyone was committed to doing this because we felt it was in the right interest of Wisconsin and I don't think anything has changed on that," Roth said.

Democratic State Sen. Dave Hansen told us that he opposes a bail out for Kimberly-Clark, but he's prepared to listen to debate and then make a decision.

Action 2 News will update this developing story.