North Carolina Tempting Apple To Build $1 Billion Server Farm

It is [reported](http://www.charlotteobserver.com/136/story/740622.html) that North Carolina officials are tempting Apple with multi-million dollar tax break to house its server farm in the state. The investment by Apple is estimated to be $1 billion. Apple and North Carolina’s Commerce Department, the lead agency in business development, have declined to comment on the report.

The tax breaks could be worth about $46 million in the next decade, assuming the company reaches its $1 billion investment target within nine years of starting, according to a memo by legislative fiscal staffers that does not identify the company. The memo said no current company meets the criteria to receive the tax break and the Commerce Department knows of just one with the potential to qualify.

The new Apple server farm is expected to employ fewer than 100 full-time staffs initially, but legislators justified changing the state’s corporate tax formula for one company based on its potential over the long term. In 2007, Google committed to spending $600 million for a server farm near Lenoir in the western North Carolina foothills. The server farm opened last year.

It is interesting to speculate how Apple will make use of this new server farm, if the report is correct. We suspect the site will be a new addition to Apple’s existing server farms, rather than a relocation. The new server farm’s most likely purpose will be to cater for the Push Notification Service, which will be launched together with iPhone firmware 3.0.

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