Google Wants 20 Years of Tax Breaks for Central Minnesota Data Center

Google wants 20 years’ worth of future tax breaks with a value of up to $15 million for a data center the tech giant plans to build in central Minnesota.

Google plans to build the $600 million data center in Sherburne County on 300 acres owned by Xcel Energy. According to MPR News, filings submitted to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission by Google estimate that the project will create 2,300 temporary construction jobs, and at least 50 permanent jobs.

Becker Mayor Tracy Bertram noted that the tech jobs at the data center would have an annual payroll of $4 million, and said the data center will produce $7 million in economic activity per year.

As such, Google asked Sherburne County and Becker city officials for property tax breaks for 20 years, which would save the company roughly $15 million.

“This will generate a lot of economic activity that will benefit not only the city and the county, but also the state and the region,” Sherburne County Administrator Steve Taylor said. Taylor expects that county commissioners will be open to the request, but will be holding hearings in March to convince the public.

The tax abatement would save Google between $7 million to $8 million in county property taxes, and $6 million to $7 million in city property taxes, MPR News reports.

“Securing one of the few Google data centers in the country would not only provide an immediate boost to the local economy, it would showcase our community and the state of Minnesota as a growing technology and data center market,” Bertram said in a letter to the Public Utilities Commission.

In that letter, which was obtained by The Minnesota Sun, she notes that “if the project moves forward, Google intends to invest $300,000,000 in construction costs alone, with an additional $300,000,000 invested in equipment.” The discrepancy between the $600 million cost of the project, and the $15 million in waived taxes over a 20-year period leaves some questions unanswered, which The Minnesota Sun plans to pursue.

The area is also bracing for the closure of a Sherco power plant, which will result in up to 400 lost jobs, and $200 million of economic activity.

“The loss of that economic impact is not something the city and the county can easily sustain,” Bertram said in her letter.

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission is expected to respond to the agreements between Google and Xcel Energy by June.

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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Google Data Center” by erwinboogert CC3.0.









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