Apple to build Iowa data center, get $207.8 million in incentives

Posted August 25, 2017

The data center will support iMessage, Siri, the App Store and various services. The Des Moines Register reported Thursday that Apple's been given about $207 million in local and state tax incentives.

In recent years, tech companies have invested billions in new Iowa data centers, lured by plenty of available crop land, access to high-speed fiber optics and a low risk for natural disasters.

The deal approved by the Iowa Economic Development Authority includes a refund of $19.6 million in state sale taxes for Apple Inc. and a $188 million break on property taxes from Waukee, a booming suburb bordering Des Moines. More than 550 jobs will also be supported by construction, Apple said in a statement. The company included a kicker, though, with a pledge of "up to" US$100 million to a Public Improvement Fund. "This puts Iowa on the world stage".

"For the past 20 months, Apple has been searching for the flawless location, and I am so proud to say that they found it right here in Iowa", Gov. Kim Reynolds said Thursday. "This gives us an opportunity with a global company like Apple to say we are the place to be, this is where your business should locate".

Iowa is a popular location for data center operators, with Google, Facebook and Microsoft (although its latest project may be cut short due to an impending water bill), having built their own facilities in the state. The company plans to build a $1.3 billion facility in Waukee, which is about 20 minutes outside the state's capital.

The data center is expected to be completed by 2020 with construction starting early next year.

The economic development board's chairman, Chris Murray, though said such projects bring people who build homes, generating tax revenue and causing other businesses to look into moving to Iowa.

"It is a minimal investment for the amount of investment that's being done in the state of Iowa", Reynolds added.

Tina Hoffman, spokeswoman for the Iowa Economic Development Authority, told The Washington Post that building the project will bring more wealth to the community.