Thanks to a new bill, major tech companies may take a renewed interest in expanding throughout Oregon. Passed by the Oregon Legislature last week, Senate Bill 611 offers tax breaks for tech companies, including corporations such as Facebook, Apple, and Amazon.
Comcast and Google were among other corporations supporting the bill. Facebook and Amazon are planning to build onto their existing property in Prineville.
“We’re hearing both of them [Facebook and Amazon] are really anxious to get started on adding some additional buildings,” administrator for Crook County, Mike McCabe, told The Oregonian.
The bill stands to save tech corporations millions by simplifying the state’s method of central assessment – a process potentially inflating corporations’ property taxes.
Supporters of the bill look forward to the possibility of the corporations’ expanded presence in the state, especially in economically suffering regions. More data-centers stand to require more employees, boosting the area’s economy.
Opponents of the bill include regional energy planners, concerned for the energy strain new electric data-centers would place on Oregon. Others, like Northwest Power & Conservation Council analyst Massoud Jourabchi, do not believe more data-centers will greatly effect the state’s energy usage.
“We’ve been conserving and lowering the demand,” Jourabchi said. “So adding a number of 100 megawatt [increases] a year is not, at the regional level, going to make a big difference.”
The bill currently awaits the signature of Gov. Kate Brown.