Oregon real estate property taxes have become quite the subject of conversation lately. Facebook purchased real estate in Prineville, Oregon as the location for its first data center. For those of you not familiar with this situation, the Oregon Department of Revenue was previously trying to go back on its arrangement with Facebook regarding tax abatement for the tech giant. When we first started working on the Facebook data center sale, Facebook was granted tax abatement as an incentive to bring their project (and over 200 construction jobs and at least 35 permanent jobs) to Central Oregon. They are now moving in the right direction and it looks like legislation will be passed to help protect Oregon from losing crucial jobs and economic growth in areas desperately needing it.
Throughout the economic downturn, Crook County experienced extreme levels of unemployment and was one of the hardest hit counties in the state of Oregon. Real estate values plummeted, jobs disappeared, and poverty struck with vengeance. Waltzing in with wings, Facebook looked to be the trendsetter in making Crook County a haven for future tech company data center locations. With cheap power, mild climate, and land large enough to support the buildings and their power needs, it looked as if there was finally hope at the end of the dark tunnel for Prineville and surrounding local communities. Rather than supporting previously agreed upon terms and opening the door for area growth and prosperity, the Oregon Department of Revenue saw an opportunity to grab some extra cash. What they didn’t consider was the other 4-5 companies considering Oregon as home to their data centers. Several projects hit the brakes over concerns with the State doing the same thing to their projects.
Here’s the link to the article about Facebook and the State of Oregon: Oregon Senate OKs Facebook Tax Fix.