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Snyder approves tax breaks to entice Switch data center to Michigan

Posted at 3:49 PM, Dec 23, 2015

LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Rick Snyder has signed into law tax breaks designed to ensure that a data center developer expands into western Michigan.

The bills enacted Wednesday also apply to roughly 40 existing data centers in Michigan, so Nevada-based Switch has no competitive advantage when it opens a massive data center near Grand Rapids.

The data center will take over the former Steelcase pyramid in Gaines Township.

Under the laws, data centers and their “co-located” clients will be exempt from paying sales and use taxes on computers, servers and other equipment for 20 years as long as the industry adds 1,000 jobs.

Switch, which has mega-data centers in Las Vegas and Reno, will make Michigan the site of its first facility in the eastern United States instead of other states it was considering, including New York and Ohio. Switch’s 1,000 clients include eBay and Amazon.

The AP contributed to this report.