Oregon Data Center Expansion Resumes After Tax Bill Passes

Apple is reportedly going ahead with a planned expansion of its Prineville, Oregon, data center. This project, as well as several other data center initiatives taking place in the state, was previously put on hold due to the uncertain impact of a central assessment tax. In early April, Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed a bill to kill the controversial tax, enabling Apple and other major industry players to resume their projects in the state.

Although Apple has not officially confirmed the expansion, Crook County administrator and judge Mike McCabe announced on Oregon Public Broadcasting that Apple had plans in place for a considerable expansion of its Prineville facility. However, the details of the initiative are currently being negotiated.

The project was halted as a result of a provision in Oregon tax law enabling the state to tax data center facilities and other properties according to the owning brand’s worth. As the Apple brand is worth a considerable sum, the company was facing steep taxes for its Oregon data center expansion.

Apple was not the only firm to cease expansion and other operations in the state due to the law. Amazon, which reportedly planned to establish several new Oregon data centers in Morrow County in the northern part of the state, also put its projects on the back burner until the tax issue could be resolved.

After officials heard that Apple and other major data center operators were having second thoughts about their Oregon-based data center initiatives, they went to work to amend the law. Brown resolved these concerns, signing a bill that exempts Oregon data center facilities from the property tax law.

With the tax law problem addressed, experts are expecting considerable data center-related activity to take place in the state coming up, including facility creation and expansion. These projects will likely include Facebook, which currently has three Oregon data centers in Prineville. The company noted that now that the tax bill has been passed, it is open to the idea of future expansion in the state.

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