Port of Quincy hosts special event to celebrate the passage of data center tax incentive legislation

At the Port of Quincy's June 21 event, local officials, state legislators, labor leaders, and data center executives were joined by Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire to celebrate the bill's passage.

Quincy, Wash. - On Monday, June 21st, the Port of Quincy hosted a special reception to celebrate the passage of the data center tax incentive legislation. Local officials, state legislators, labor leaders, and data center executives were joined by Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire, who signed the bill into law in April.

Quincy, Washington has been the biggest beneficiary of the state legislature's recent approval of targeted tax incentives for the data center industry. The measure, which provides a 15-month sales tax exemption on the purchase and installation of computers and energy for new data centers in 32 rural counties, was a key factor in Microsoft's decision to begin construction on a second major data center in Quincy.

"I doubt the people who settled here in Quincy, looking to start a new life on the farm, would ever imagine we'd be here today celebrating a new state-of-the art data center in town," Gregoire said. "Today we can celebrate the continuing growth and development of Washington, and the world-class companies that call Washington home."

Gregoire finished her speech by praising Quincy for providing the resources, infrastructure and other elements needed for tech companies to locate here.

"We're not going to take a back seat to Oregon or any other state. We want to make sure Washington is the home of hi-tech, right here in Quincy," she said.

"This wouldn't have happened without the community support. You have a wonderful community with a great community attitude. That's given us the chance to make great things happen in Quincy. All of us are coming together to make Washington a greater state, and we're on the road to making that happen. Hopefully this is going to be the first of many celebrations here."

Early this year, the Port of Quincy and its public affairs director, Pat Boss, brought together a coalition which included data center providers, construction labor unions, the Washington Technology Industry Association, the Washington Needs Jobs coalition and local citizens and community organizations, which successfully lobbied to get the tax incentives restored. The resumption of work on the Microsoft Quincy campus is a direct result of the recent restoration of those tax incentives by the state legislature.

"Microsoft is pleased to continue to increase its cloud infrastructure capabilities and capacity at its Quincy data center," said Kevin Timmons, GM of Datacenter Operations, Microsoft Global Foundation Services. "Building on an already successful relationship with local and government officials, we are excited to begin construction on our first modular facility in this region to meet current and future customer demands for our services."

Dave Sabey, the owner of Sabey Data Center Properties, might have summed up the feelings of everybody in attendance best, though.

"Isn't it great," Sabey said as he took the podium, "when the system works."

Sabey said, "All we had to do was remove a single barrier, and we were able to work together and make the case to Olympia. We were met with great skepticism at first, but we kept at it and convinced the legislature to take a chance, and it was a good decision that's paying off. There's more good news to come. Sabey is proud to be a part of Quincy.

Also making speeches were Port of Quincy Chair Curt Morris, City of Quincy Mayor Jim Hemberry; Rep. Timm Ormsby from the 3rd Legislative District; Rep. Cary Condotta from the 12th Legislative District, Sen. Janea Holmquist from the 13th Legislative District; and Lisa Karstetter of Yahoo!.

The event was emceed and organized by Pat Boss, the Public Affairs and Business Development Director of the Port of Quincy.