In mid-March, Missouri state legislatures in the House and Senate approved a data center tax incentive which would allow for a break on state and local sales tax for data center organizations building new facilities or expanding existing structures. The measure will now be sent to Gov. Jay Nixon for approval. However, Nixon vetoed a similar measure last year.
Supporters of the legislation note that a data center tax incentive such as this one could drive additional investments by technology providers in the state. Without such encouragement, the state could be missing out on considerable business from the data center community, as providers opt to situate their facilities in neighboring states that do offer incentives.
State Rep. Kevin Austin noted that Missouri has much to offer the data center industry, including cost-effective utilities, a workforce knowledgeable in IT as well as a favorable climate free of natural disasters. The only other thing the state needs to attract data center business is added tax incentives.
"But without these incentives, we will not be on the site selector's radar," Austin said. "We will not get these data storage centers."
The measure would allow for incentives for expanding companies that invest $5 million in the community and create five new jobs with their facility growth. In addition, firms building new facilities that invest $25 million and create 10 new jobs would also qualify.
Nixon did veto similar legislation last year, noting that the 2014 measure did not guarantee a return on investment for the state. As the measure already passed in the House with a 97-53 vote, it is now up to the governor's approval, which will determine whether or not the state will offer the data center tax incentive.
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