An incentive package designed to lure a huge data center project to Nebraska is on the verge of passing the legislature.
Lawmakers reduced the threshold needed to trigger tax breaks from an investment of $300 million to $200 million, then moved LB 1118 into position to pass a final vote.
Sen. Health Mello of Omaha told colleagues the newly re-fashioned package will attract more than the famed “Project Edge”.
“LB 1118, yes, while it was driven with the hopes of trying to attract a very large project, opens up our economic opportunities to other large data centers down the road,” Mello stated.
The bill, sponsored by Sen. Abbie Cornett of Bellevue, alters the Nebraska Advantage Act to provide tax breaks for a data center that invests at least $200 million and hires 30 workers. Such an investment would trigger a refund of all sales taxes as well as other tax breaks.
Senators also have moved forward a bill that would provide such large companies a break in electric rates for five years. The two bills need to win one final vote to move on to the governor.
“Project Edge” has been cloaked in secrecy, though only a company as large as Facebook could fit the description. Its total investment is estimated at $1.2 billion. It is believed the company is considering a location in Kearney and two locations in Iowa.
Though the legislation would grant significant tax breaks to the project, state officials estimate it would become a revenue-generator, creating a $12 million plus for the state.
AUDIO: Debate on LB 1118 and its amendment [20 min.]