Data Centers Opposing Switch Tax Bill

LANSING – A bill sitting in the House Commerce and Tourism Committee that would exempt data center Switch from additional property taxes is facing opposition from the other data centers in Michigan.

The Michigan Data Center Alliance, a coalition of nine Michigan-based companies operating 38 data centers and employing 1,000 residents, said this week it opposes SB 455, which would exempt Switch from certain property taxes. The company says its 2016 deal with the state to place it in a renaissance zone exempted it from nearly all property taxes while the state has disagreed with that assessment.

“In the competitive field of data centers and information technology, lawmakers should be promoting tax fairness, not be picking winners and losers to advantage a single company with political clout and well-connected lobbyists,” Carrie Wheeler, the group’s executive chair, said in a statement. “Moreover, the Switch special tax carve-out clearly harms local schools, local governments and local communities, leaving taxpayers on the hook for hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars.”

In 2015, the Legislature considered legislation that would have exempt just Switch from various taxes. In the end, what passed and was signed by then-Governor Rick Snyder was an industry-wide exemption from sales and use taxes.

“Long before Switch entered the market, Michigan data centers have been investing in our state for years, creating jobs, supporting local communities and driving economic growth during good times and bad,” Ms. Wheeler said. “We urge lawmakers to reject this ill-conceived legislation and encourage Switch to partner with its local schools and communities in a way that is a ‘win-win’ for everyone involved, including the Michigan data centers who have only ever asked to be on an equal playing field so they can compete, invest, grow and innovate.”

Thiw story was published by Gongwer News Service.

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