Apple eyeing $1 billion North Carolina data center

Apple is reportedly plotting a $1 billion data center in North Carolina and legislators are overhauling their state's tax code to entice Steve Jobs & Co. to build there.

Apple is reportedly plotting a $1 billion data center in North Carolina and legislators are overhauling their state's tax code to entice Steve Jobs & Co. to build there. 

According to local TV reports, North Carolina's House has approved a tax overhaul in an effort to woo Apple. Generally speaking, the new tax law, which still has to be approved by North Carolina's Senate, would make the tax code more appealing to $1 billion investments. 

As Rich Miller notes, Virginia made a similar move. States are dangling as many carrots as possible to lure big data centers. 

The big question: What is Apple planning? Note that Apple hasn't been identified, but the Charlotte News Observer and AP have noted that North Carolina is making a full court press for Steve Jobs & Co. to build a data center.

Miller writes:

The size of the project raises interesting questions about Apple’s ambitions for its online operations. The $1 billion price tag is nearly twice the $500 to $600 million that Microsoft and Google typically invest in the enormous data centers that power their cloud computing platforms. 

Apple requires sturdy web infrastructure to power its iTunes store and the iPhone app store. Apple customers have downloaded more than than 6 billion songs from the iTunes store, and more than 1 billion iPhone apps from the app store. 

As the bidding wars continue, North Carolina critics are wondering why the state is working so hard to subsidize a company with $25 billion in cash and marketable securities in the bank.