Data center tax breaks win approval from Michigan Senate

Posted at 3:14 PM, Dec 03, 2015

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan lawmakers are approving tax breaks to land a major data center project in the state.

The Republican-led Senate on Thursday narrowly passed its version of the legislation, 21-15. The House could vote later in the day on similar bills, with talks expected to continue.

The legislation is needed to ensure Las Vegas-based data center developer Switch locates a facility near Grand Rapids.

The tax exemptions also apply to roughly 40 existing Michigan data centers.

The bills exempt data centers and their clients from paying sales, use and local property taxes on business equipment.

Supporters say the tax breaks are essential to keep Michigan competitive with other states offering incentives to a fast-growing sector. Opponents say the bills shortchange government budgets and include no job-creation guarantees.