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Virginia tax breaks for data centers see huge jump

December 21, 2018

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia’s tax breaks for data centers saw a huge yearly jump in 2018.

The state’s newly released comprehensive annual finance report shows that sales and use tax exemptions for the large warehouses full of computers that function as the brains of the internet accounted for more than $79.2 million in uncollected state revenue in fiscal 2018. It’s more than a 21 percent increase over the previous year.

The data center tax breaks by are far the biggest type of business tax breaks the state offers.

Supporters say the incentives are a crucial reason for Virginia’s success in the market and the industry is a major boost to the state’s overall economy. Critics say the tax breaks are an unnecessary giveaway to some of the world’s richest companies, including Amazon and Facebook.

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