back to article Microsoft to spend $1.1bn to build Iowa data center

Microsoft has been given the go-ahead to build a $1.1bn data center just outside the capital of Iowa, Des Moines – in southeast West Des Moines, to be exact – which when taken together with its existing data center there will raise the company's investment in the area to a hair below $2bn. Redmond wrangled a fine passel of …


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  1. localzuk

    Golf courses

    How many golf courses does that area need?! I count at least 4 within a couple of miles of each other!

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Golf courses

      Why in a country with so much space as the USA, and especially in a state empty by American standards, do they end up having to build the thing on top of something like a golf course in the first place?

      1. Mpeler

        Re: Golf courses

        Maybe someone mistook "sand trap(s)" for "sandbox", thinking they could use them to sequester problem code/applications?

        (Gets me coat - green just like the masters one...). (Inverse video as opposed to video in verse....).

        (Going from bad to verse....yikes...).

  2. Charles Manning

    Creating jobs

    It is ridiculous justify this sort of money expenditure and tax breaks in order to create jobs.

    Just add "creates jobs" to any turd of an idea and it immediately smells of roses.

    $1.1bn to create 85 jobs makes this an expenditure of $13M per job created. That is an astounding amount.

    The $20M/year tax break costs the tax payer $235k per job created. Far cheaper to put them on the dole.

    These kinds of business do not create sustainable jobs or business. There are far better ways of achieving far better results.

    Small business is the backbone of pretty much the whole world - USA included. Most small companies could make far better use of even a tenth of that sort of stimulus. For example, giving a tax break of $100k to a 10-person company that is about to go under would save 10 jobs. With this scheme it doesn't even secure half a job.

    Justifying this sort of corporate gravy with "creates jobs" is just immoral.

    1. frank ly Silver badge

      Re: Creating jobs

      There is a good chance that Microsoft are capable of building their datacentre in another place, outside the area of Des Moines and thus not paying any taxes at all to Des Moines in the future. This is the stick that Microsoft (and other large companies) wave at local authorities while showing a picture of a carrot (future tax revenues). Microsoft are not there and not paying taxes yet. Small struggling companies are there and they can't afford to move.

    2. localzuk

      Re: Creating jobs

      Yeah, you're looking at it from a "they're getting a discount" angle, rather than a "they will be a new employer in the area" angle.

      What you've got now is 85 jobs that don't exist. What you'll have in the end is 85 new jobs. At the moment, they're getting zero taxes from Microsoft. Afterwards, they'll be getting $8m a year in taxes.

      Not to mention, Microsoft aren't spending $1.1bn to make 85 jobs. They're spending $1.1bn to make a giant data centre for their business needs. It isn't $13m per job created. It is a lot less than that.

    3. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Creating jobs

      85 full time jobs. Plus about $1b spent in the region, hiring builders and so on based in Iowa.

      1. Nate Amsden Silver badge

        Re: Creating jobs

        Doubt it is anywhere close to $1b spent in the region, a good chunk of that will be equipment coming from Asia and just installed there.

        I'm certainly in the camp that these state and local governments should not be giving tax breaks to any big data center like this the return isn't there. The data centers will be built regardless because the demand is here (and latency requirements). If only the governments could team up and reject all breaks so they can't use one state or region against another.

  3. Bladeforce

    More... paying jobs coming to IOWA SOON

    1. Random Coolzip

      Re: More...

      $25/hr comes to $52K/annum, which is just a touch below the national median, and actually a touch above the Iowa median of $49.5K. So this is actually a living wage for the region.

      After all, we can't all be rich British techies pulling down £100K+...

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