BROOKFIELD — A
proposal to create a new tax increment district in Brookfield near
the Milwaukee Tool headquarters on Lisbon Road for a $35 million
expansion project was met with skepticism at a Common Council
meeting Tuesday night.
After a brief
discussion, a public hearing on the matter that will be held before
the next Plan Commission meeting was approved 10 to 3.
calls for the city to provide nearly $3.5 million for the company’s
expansion, which promises the creation of 350 new high-level jobs
and a tax kickback of $4.64 million over 15 years. The city provided
about $6 million two years ago for the creation of 500 jobs at a
separate office building in Brookfield that opened last summer.
asked if it was worth city taxpayers paying approximately $13,000
per job created when people living outside of Brookfield will fill
many of those positions.
“Why would we
want to create more jobs at local taxpayers expense,” asked District
6 Ald. Christopher Blackburn, adding that when the council approved
the expansion in 2016, other indirect benefits were also cited. “I
don’t see a visible change in the area around the headquarters. I
don’t see a lot of evidence that employers are boosting jobs and
hiring people... absent of evidence I’m assuming that these benefits
Steve Ponto took a different argument. He commended Milwaukee Tool
for having already created 347 of the 500 jobs from the first phase
of their expansion in just a year.
has been a huge success story. These are high-level jobs. They’re
clean, they are well paying, family-supporting jobs,” he said. “I
think that any community in Wisconsin would be euphoric to have this
type of opportunity.”
hearing will be held next month and a vote by the Common Council is
scheduled in early April.
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