Microsoft data center executive Kevin Timmons speaks Monday data  ceremoy to recognize the impact of the recent effort to reinstate a key tax incentive for data center companies.

Data Center Day in Quincy

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Microsoft data center executive Kevin Timmons speaks Monday at a ceremony to recognize the impact of the recent effort to reinstate a key tax incentive for data center companies.

The farm town of Quincy, Washington has been the biggest beneficiary of the state legislature’s recent approval of targeted tax incentives for the data center industry. The measure, which provides a 15-month sales tax exemption on the purchase and installation of computers and energy for new data centers in 32 rural counties, was a key factor in Microsoft’s decision to begin construction on a second major data center in Quincy.

On Monday the Port of Quincy hosted a special reception to celebrate the passage of the data center tax incentive legislation. Local officials and data center executives were joined by Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire, who signed the bill into law.

Governor Hails ‘World Class Companies’
“I doubt the people who settled here in Quincy, looking to start a new life on the farm, would ever imagine we’d be here today celebrating a new state-of-the art data center in town,” Gregoire said. “Today we can celebrate the continuing growth and development of Washington, and the world-class companies that call Washington home.”

The tax controversy in Washington State erupted in December 2007 when attorney general Rob McKenna ruled that data centers were no longer covered by a state sales tax break for manufacturing enterprises.

Early this year, the region’s data center providers joined with the Washington Technology Industry Association and the town of Quincy to form the Washington needs Jobs coalition, which successfully lobbied to get the tax incentives restored. The resumption of work on the Microsoft Quincy campus appears to be a direct result of the recent restoration of those tax incentives by the state legislature.

“Microsoft is pleased to continue to increase its cloud infrastructure capabilities and capacity at its Quincy data center,” said Kevin Timmons, GM of Datacenter Operations, Microsoft Global Foundation Services. “Building on an already successful relationship with local and government officials, we are excited to begin construction on our first modular facility in this region to meet current and future customer demands for our services.”

Curt Morris, Chair of the Port of Quincy, has shared photos from the event:

Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire speaks Monday at an event organized by the Port of Quincy.

Sabey Corp. President Dave Sabey was among the industry officials present at the reception Monday in Quincy, where Sabey is building a new data center.

Yahoo community relations director Lisa Karstetter said the new incentives make Washington a competitive state.

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About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.

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  1. Mr. McKenna has has gubernatorial ambitions, but his misguided 2007 decision could very well prevent him from making it to the Governor's mansion. It set back Washington state competitively for a vital three-year period, and will be a handy "he's anti-buisness" stick for his fellow GOP candidates to keep him out of the race.