As Yahoo! and Microsoft battle it out over the Redmond company’s acquisition offer, the companies find themselves in agreement on a separate issue: tax breaks for the giant data centers they’ve been building in Washington state.
But are big economic incentives warranted for facilities that, after construction, employ as few as 20 to 30 workers each? P-I reporter Chris McGann explored the issue in this story in today’s newspaper, with viewpoints from various sides. One of his source materials was a Jan. 30 letter from Yahoo co-founder David Filo to state Sen. Margarita Prentice, chairwoman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee.
Via McGann, here’s a PDF of the letter, and here’s an extended excerpt:
Over the last two years Yahoo! has significantly expanded its presence in Washington State, with the opening of a new 115,000 sq. ft. software development facility in Bellevue, and the construction of two mega data centers, one in a renovated building in Wenatchee and another even larger facility constructed from the ground-up in Quincy. Until very recently, Yahoo! had planned to continue aggressively growing this presence by constructing additional phases of these projects in Central Washington. Unfortunately, however, a decision by the Department of Revenue rejecting Yahoo!’s application for the rural sales tax deferral/exemption has caused us to halt all new construction.[…]
Yahoo!, Microsoft, Datacenter, Data Center, Tax, Agreement