Incentives for data centers in Wisconsin

Wisconsin offers a Data Center Sales and Use Tax Exemption for projects that involve buildings constructed or rehabilitated to house a group of networked computer servers to centralize the processing, storage, management, retrieval, communication, or dissemination of data and information.

Data centers are a rapidly growing industry across the U.S., and Wisconsin has fewer data centers as a percentage of total businesses than other states. This program aims to attract more data centers to Wisconsin, along with the highly educated workforce, high wages, and significant capital investment these projects bring to communities.

How It Works

A company can apply for the exemption based on a plan to invest at least $150 million over five years in a county with population greater than 100,000, $100 million in a county with population between 50,000 and 100,000, or $50 million in a county with population of 50,000 or less. The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) administers the program and reviews applications to ensure they meet the criteria for qualified investment and eligible costs, subject to the full program guidelines.

Getting Prepared

Most data center projects require years of advance preparation. A community may need to purchase suitable land and work with utilities to equip the site with the energy supply and cooling capacity a data center requires. A company seeking to establish a data center is often looking for a site that is ready to go. Although communities undertake this work on their own, WEDC can help them become familiar with the requirements so they can evaluate whether such an investment makes sense for the community in question. Through our network of economic development partners, WEDC can also help communities get connected with the guidance and technical expertise they need in order to establish a site that’s suitable for a data center project.