Apple has signed a deal to build two data storage centers near Des Moines in Iowa in exchange for tax breaks worth $208 million.
Iowa’s Economic Development Authority authorized the deal through which the iPhone maker will create about 50 new permanent jobs. The authority also approved a refund of $$19.6 million to Apple that it had paid in state sale taxes Apple also received $188 million tax breaks on property taxes in a thriving suburb called Waukee that borders Des Moines. The software and tech giant has also agreed to purchase 2,000 acres of land for the construction project which will cost $1.4 billion.
Iowa’s economic director Debi Durham stated that the 2,000 acres of land that Apple will buy as part of the partnership will be enough to facilitate future developments. The recent deal highlight’s the company’s strong relationship with the state. Apple CEO Tim Cook recently comended Iowa for its world-class power grid during an event which he had attended outside Capitol building with Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds.
“At Apple, we admire what you guys have accomplished and we want to be a part of it,” stated Cook during the event.
Cook also promised to invest $100 million in a new public improvement fund that was created for community development. This includes the rehabilitation of parks, libraries, and streets. The first project to benefit from the fund will be a youth sports campus that will host high school and community games.
Iowa’s decision to offer the tax breaks to Apple has received a lot of criticism especially considering that Apple is one of the richest firms in the world. David Swenson, an analyst at the Iowa State University described the tax breaks as a fiscal loss for the state and added that it does not make sense from an economist point of view. However, Iowa believes that it was a good move aimed towards job creation and growing the economy. Chris Murray, the chairman of the state’s economic development board stated that such projects will encourage other companies to move into the state and that this will lead to more tax revenue in the long run.