Washington State Approves Tax Incentive Bill For Rural Development Of High-tech Data Centers

Governor Christine Gregoire has recently signed a new law that provides tax incentives to encourage companies to build data centers in rural areas of Washington State
By: Port of Quincy
April 25, 2010 - PRLog -- Olympia, Wash - To attract tech companies building server farms, Governor Christine Gregoire earlier this month signed into law new tax incentives that will encourage companies to build data centers in rural areas of Washington State (such as Quincy, East Wenatchee and Moses Lake, Washington).

Last year, the state rejected a proposed tax break, which prompted Microsoft to move its cloud computing platform Azure out of Washington state to another U.S. data center. The news was distressing to the town of Quincy, where Yahoo, Microsoft and Intuit have built large server farms, drawn to Grant County's cheap and green hydropower.

Since then, Facebook and Amazon.com have both chosen to build data centers in Oregon instead of Washington, said Patrick Boss, director of economic & business development for the Port of Quincy.

The new tax exemption applies to:
• Sales of server equipment that will be installed in a data center.
• Labor and service charges for installing servers, and to sales of power infrastructure equipment.
• Sales of power infrastructure.
• Labor and services for construction of power infrastructure.

To be eligible for the break, data centers have to be at least 100,000 square feet to qualify and construction must begin between March 31. 2010, and July 1, 2011.

""The legislative activity has definitely stimulated interest....we’ve already had a couple of companies inquiring about building data centers in Quincy," Boss said.  "We’re excited about being on a level playing field again with other states such as Oregon."

Sabey Corp. has also announced plans to build a 525,000-square-foot data center in Quincy for at least one technology company yet to be named.

Prior to the Governor's signing of the data center tax incentive bill, the state Senate passed it by a 39-4 vote, and the house passed it by a 91-2 vote earlier this month.

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