We shared recently that legislation to help put Indiana in the game for data center attraction has proceeded through the Indiana House with near unanimous support. HB 1405 gives local governments the authority to exempt data centers from paying property taxes and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation the authority to exempt data center equipment (including electricity) from state sales and use taxes.

Iowa is one of the go-to data center states with facilities from Apple, Google, Facebook and Microsoft among others. A news article from Des Moines states the attraction stems from “incentives specifically designed for data center and web search companies, such as sales- and use-tax exemptions on purchases for computers, equipment and cooling systems.”

It adds that “data centers also like Iowa because it has available land, relatively cheap and environmentally friendly energy sources, access to high-speed fiber optics and is a low natural disaster risk area.”

A new major project in Indiana is the Digital Crossroads Lake Michigan data center in Hammond¬†along Lake Michigan at the site of the former State Line Generating Plant (a leading energy facility from its inception in 1926 until its closing in 2012). The developers tout Digital Crossroads as a “high-capacity, energy efficient, state-of-the-art campus located on 77 acres and providing over one million square feet of data center space.”

While data centers themselves are often not high-profile facilities, they attract companies (and investment) to take advantage of the important services they provide.

One of the chief proponents of the industry has been Indiana Chamber board member Rich Carlton of Data Realty and its affiliated companies in South Bend. You can learn more about the impact of data centers in a Season 1, Episode 18 EchoChamber conversation with Carlton.

The Chamber will be leading the way in striving to move the important data center bill through the remainder of the legislative process.

Adam Berry is vice president of economic development and technology with the Indiana Chamber of Commerce.