Iowa Officials Approve Tax Breaks for Google Data Center Expansion

Company plans to invest $1 billion in new Council Bluffs data center

Yevgeniy Sverdlik

April 17, 2015

2 Min Read
Iowa Officials Approve Tax Breaks for Google Data Center Expansion
Google announced its first data center in Council Bluffs, Iowa, in 2007 (Photo: Google)

Following local officials’ approval of a tax-break package for a Google data center expansion project in Council Bluffs, Iowa, the company is preparing to invest another $1 billion in its campus there. Google has already spent about $1.5 billion on its existing data center capacity there.

The Iowa Economic Development Authority Board approved a $19.8 million sales and use-tax refund for the Google data center expansion project Friday, local news outlet The Des Moines Register reported. The tax break follows $16.8 million in state incentives for the company approved in the past.

A Google employee in Council Bluffs confirmed the company’s data center expansion plans to The Register.

Tax incentives have been one of the main instruments state and local economic-development officials use to attract big data center construction projects. While they don’t create as many jobs as manufacturing facilities do, they boost local economies during construction and put towns on the map for future potential data center builds. There are other benefits, such as property taxes and taxes on the enormous electricity purchases data centers make.

Enormous investments in data center capacity expansion around the world is regular course of business for Google and its rivals in internet and cloud services. Just earlier this month, the company announced launch of a $600 million data center in Oregon, and officials in an Atlanta suburb recently approved a tax-incentive package for a $300 million Google data center expansion there.

The first facility on the Google data center campus in Council Bluffs was announced in 2007. Five years later the company announced it would build a second data center there.

Google has so far created about 130 jobs at the site. The company has also donated more than $800,000 to local schools and non-profits and paid to launch a free WiFi network in and around Council Bluffs.

Iowa has been successful in attracting massive data center projects.

There is a huge Microsoft data center in West Des Moines, and the company announced plans to build another $1.1 billion facility in the state last year. The latest Facebook data center came online in Altoona, Iowa, in November of 2014.

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