A Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation committee voted Feb. 2 to approve $7 million in tax credits for the building of payment processor Fiserv’s new Milwaukee headquarters, according to a press release Thursday.
Fiserv, currently based in suburban Brookfield, Wisconsin, announced in October its plans to move its global headquarters to Milwaukee, promising to invest $40 million in downtown office space to create and retain jobs. At the time, the company said the move was contingent upon tax credits from both the city and the state.
Milwaukee city council members in December approved the creation of a tax increment financing district where the headquarters will be located and a $7 million tax-related grant to offset Fiserv’s renovation expenses.
The tax credits from the WEDC are “an important piece to finalize the Fiserv move to the center of our city,” Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson said in the Thursday release.
The WEDC’s awards administration committee unanimously approved the performance-based tax credits for Fiserv, an agency spokesperson said Thursday. The contract was then reviewed and signed by the agency and Fiserv on Tuesday.
The WEDC had not previously disclosed the size of the incentives Fiserv might receive. Missy Hughes, the agency’s CEO and secretary, said during a November interview that information would remain confidential until an agreement was signed with the company.
The tax credits are based on performance, meaning Fiserv has to follow through on its capital investment plans and its job creation and retention promises to receive them, the release noted.
With the move into an approximately 150,000 square foot office space downtown known as HUB640, Fiserv has said it will retain its Wisconsin workforce and create 250 new jobs. Fiserv had about 700 employees in the Milwaukee area as of November, a Fiserv spokesperson said at that time.
Construction on the new Milwaukee headquarters is slated to begin by June 2023, with completion targeted for December 2024, according to city documents. The company projects it will have 580 employees at the new location by the end of 2024, with that number rising to 780 by the end of 2027, per the documents.
Fiserv also seeks tax incentives in New Jersey, where it’s invested $105.6 million on a new corporate campus and has pledged to create and retain about 3,000 jobs. Fiserv, which employs about 40,000 people globally, cut jobs and sold off business units last year as it faced profit margin pressure.
Although the WEDC’s tax credits are “pay for performance,” meaning the company doesn’t receive credits unless they’re meeting specified targets, “our goal is to be business-friendly, and to work with the business” if it needs to amend or terminate the agreement, Hughes said in November.