Offsetting the tax exemption is a power franchise fee, which is based on the power bill that Facebook pays. About 5% of that monthly power bill goes to the city of Prineville, Carr said. "The city right now is seeing about $60,000 per month of additional revenue coming into the city coffers through that franchise fee," he said.
The city also charges a "community fee," levied in lieu of taxes. The fee was attached to the 15-year exemption to help cover the cost of public services. Facebook will pay about $110,000 and Apple, $140,000 annually, Carr said. The companies are also paying for some public utility improvements.
Data centers aren't large employers, and that will be true in Prineville as well. Facebook employs about 60 at its data center but that may rise to nearly 100, once it completes all its building. Apple may eventually employ roughly an equal amount, estimate local officials.
Facebook has involved itself in the community, making money available for numerous local projects and in the schools as well.
Oregon's infrastructure has drawn other large data center operators, notably Google. Other areas of the country, such as parts of North Carolina have also turned into data center locations for companies such as Apple and Facebook.
Patrick Thibodeau covers cloud computing and enterprise applications, outsourcing, government IT policies, data centers and IT workforce issues for Computerworld. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @DCgov or subscribe to Patrick's RSS feed. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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