Ancestry to Expand Company’s Utah Operations

Pete CodellaNews, Tax Credits

The Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) today announced that they have entered into an agreement with Ancestry under which the company will have an opportunity to expand its operations in Utah, adding up to 506 jobs, $12.2 million in new state revenue and up to $10.5 million in capital investment over the next nine years.

Ancestry is a leading provider of family history and consumer genetics services. These two complementary services share a brand and a mission to empower journeys of personal discovery to enrich lives. Ancestry has more than 3 million paying subscribers across its core Ancestry websites with an extensive collection of over 10 billion digitized historical records and nearly 15 million participants in the AncestryDNA database. Since 1996, users have created over 100 million family trees and 12 billion ancestor profiles on the Ancestry flagship site and its affiliated international websites.

“Ancestry is an international company with homegrown roots that enhance Utah’s Silicon Slopes,” said Val Hale, executive director of the Utah Office of Economic Development. “This innovative company is leveraging their insights and information to improve lives in family history. We are pleased that this new agreement will allow Ancestry to continue a long history as a business leader in the Utah community and continue to expand itsoperations in the state.”

“For more than 30 years, Ancestry has been a proud member of the Utah business community,” said Howard Hochhauser, chief financial officer and chief operating officer at Ancestry. “We are pleased to enter into this new agreement with the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, which will allow us to expand our headquarters presence to support the strong growth in our business. In addition, we are excited to have theopportunity to benefit from Utah’s talented workforce as we focus on delivering innovative products for our consumers that will fuel their personal discovery journeys as they seek to learn more about themselves and their families.”

Under the new agreement, Ancestry has the opportunity to create up to 506 jobs in Utah over the next nine years. The total wages in aggregate are required to exceed 110 percent of the average county wage. Projected new state wages over the life of the agreement may be up to $316,971,619 which includes wages, salaries, bonuses and other taxable compensation. Projected new state tax revenues as a result of corporate, payroll and sales taxes are estimated to be $12,228,599 over nine years.

“Ancestry epitomizes the ‘DNA’ of Utah’s tech industry,” said Theresa Foxley, president and CEO of the Utah Economic Development Corporation of Utah. “Ancestry is an entrepreneurial business that has grown to become an industry leader in genealogy and genetics. Technology has always been at the company’s core and has fueled its expansion into new fields. We’re thrilled by Ancestry’s decision to expand in Silicon Slopes.”

Ancestry may earn up to 20 percent of the new state taxes they will pay over the nine-year life of the agreement in the form of a post-performance Economic Development Tax Increment Finance (EDTIF) tax credit. As part of the contract with Ancestry, the GOED Board of Directors has approved a post-performance tax credit not to exceed $2,445,720. Each year Ancestry meets the criteria in its contract with the state, it will earn a portion of the total tax credit.

The Utah Legislature has authorized economic development incentives in the form of post-performance tax credits. Eligible companies work with the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development to outline specific performance criteria. Once GOED confirms those criteria have been met, companies can receive a refund up to 30 percent of the state taxes they paid for up to 20 years.