Snyder: Tax breaks for west Mich. data center 'not a simple yes-or-no'
Governor Rick Snyder says a bill package offering tax breaks for creation of an overall $5 billion data center in western Michigan is "not a simple yes-or-no answer".
The center, proposed by Nevada-based data and technology company Switch, would transform the former Steelcase pyramid and adjacent acreage in Gaines Township into a 2 million square-foot data center and campus.
“Just a data center by itself is not a huge job generator. It’s a huge data center," Snyder says. "The question is, is there more value-added work that would be taking place in that facility that would lead to much more employment?”
Snyder did not offer a public stance on the proposal, calling the decision "a balancing act".
"There’s a lot of policy implications to doing this. How can it be done fairly and thoughtfully?," he says. "At the same time, it’s be great to see that site redeveloped in some fashion."
Legislation allowing for property, use and sales tax exemptions for data centers was recently introduced by state lawmakers, following news of the possible deal.
The company has said it’s not interested unless tax incentives are received.
Testimony on the bill package began on Tuesday.
Snyder made his comments to reporters on Tuesday at a Michigan Farm Bureau luncheon event.