On the eve of Mobilegeddon, Google has announced that it will be investing another $1 billion into its existing Council Bluffs, IA data center campus. On the heels of their original investment of $1.5 billion, which started in 2007, Google made the decision to announce the additional investment after guaranteeing that it would receive almost $20 million in sales and use tax refunds.
The new investment will be in a four-story data center building, marking the third facility on the 1,000 acre campus and should add roughly 70 jobs to the local economy, more than doubling the number of on-site staff. Both Microsoft and Facebook have followed Google to Iowa as an appropriate location for large data center projects.
With over $38 million in tax incentives over the years to build in the Council Bluffs location, Google has softened the tax blow to the area in a number of ways. They have reportedly donated as much as $800,000 to local non-profits and schools in the area, as well as rolling out free Wi-Fi coverage that is centered around the Council Bluffs area.
While it's important to note that local tax incentives have been a driving force behind state's attempts to lure large data center projects to their locations, the Des Moines Register points out that at least three other non-technology companies have been asking the legislature for low-cost loans and tax incentives (though not on the scale that data center operators have wrangled) to build or expand their facilities in Iowa.