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March 7, 2022

Washington state looks to expand tax incentives for data centers in rural counties

Lawmakers in Washington state are looking to pass a number of data center tax exemption bills to encourage more development in the state.

Under RCW 82.14.370, a “rural county” means a county with a population density of less than one hundred persons per square mile or a county smaller than two hundred twenty-five square miles as determined by the office of financial management.

Two other data center-related bills are also being considered by the House. One is HB 1473; Providing a tax preference for data centers in counties with a certain population. Introduced by Republican representative Cyndy Jacobsen alongside Drew Stokesbary, Robert Sutherland, and Eric Robertson, alongside Democrats Jake Fey and Jessica Bateman, the bill would provide sales tax exemptions for >1.5MW data centers located in counties with populations between 900,000 and 1 million.

The House is also considering HB 1459Broadening the eligibility requirements and extending the expiration date for the data center tax incentive. Introduced by Republican representatives Alex Ybarra alongside Stokesbary, Sutherland, Tom Dent, and Democrat Mike Chapman, it would extend the current data center tax exemptions, allowing new exemption certification to be granted until 2035, which would run until 2047.

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