Apple, C. Ore. officials make data center tax deal

PRINEVILLE, Ore. (AP) — Apple Inc. has agreed to pay local governments $150,000 a year and get a 15-year property tax exemption for the data center it is developing in Central Oregon.

In an agreement with Prineville and Crook County, Apple also commits to minimums of 35 jobs at the center, wages 150 percent of the county's average wage and $250 million invested at its 160 acres of land.

The city of Prineville and Crook County will have to work out how to split the $150,000 payment called a "project fee," The Bend Bulletin reported Friday.

The development is the latest in the Central Oregon data center boom.

Last year, Facebook opened a data center near the Apple site. Inc. has a data center near Boardman. Google Inc. has one near The Dalles.

North of the Columbia River, in Central Washington, low-cost hydropower from the Columbia River has attracted Vantage Data Centers, Microsoft Corp., Yahoo Inc., Dell Inc. and Sabey Corp.

The $150,000 project fee in part of an agreement with Apple that was made public this week. Prineville City Manager Steve Forrester called it a common arrangement.

The Oregonian reports that the value of the tax break will depend on how much Apple winds up investing. Similar tax breaks on Google's $1.3 billion data center in The Dalles are worth more than $24 million to the company annually, the newspaper said.

Apple paid $5.6 million in February to buy 160 acres in Prineville and started construction of a modular server farm on the bluffs above town. It hasn't said how large the development will become.

The Bonneville Power Administration is upgrading the electrical infrastructure in Crook County to handle the presence of Apple and other data centers.

Apple needs storage capacity for its iCloud service to store customers' photos, music and movies.

It has a large data center in North Carolina and is building a 100-acre, 20-megawatt solar array there.

PacifiCorp has said it will provide power for the Apple project in Prineville, but Apple has told the city it also plans a green energy project there, Forrester said.


Information from: The Bulletin,