“Apple Inc. announced Wednesday it would build a data center in North Carolina, two days after the state Legislature agreed to special tax breaks designed for the technology giant to invest $1 billion in the project,” Gary D. Robertson reports for The Associated Press.

“The confirmation that the maker of Macintosh computers, iPods and iPhones would build its East Coast data warehouse somewhere in the state came the same day Gov. Beverly Perdue signed the incentives bill targeting Apple into law,” Robertson reports.

“‘North Carolina continues to be a prime location for growing and expanding global technology companies,’ Perdue said in a news release. ‘We welcome Apple to North Carolina and look forward to working with the company as it begins providing a significant economic boost to local communities and the state,'” Robertson reports.

“The data center will employ at least 50 people full-time as the billion-dollar investment is made over nine years, said Susan Lundgren, a spokeswoman for Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple. A more detailed location has yet to be announced,” Robertson reports. “Perdue’s office said the data center could generate another 250 jobs for people providing services to the plant and more than 3,000 related jobs for the region surrounding the site.”

“The announcement wasn’t unexpected. The Legislature quickly pushed through a bill that didn’t identify Apple by name but was designed to get the company to build in the state by giving it a break on state corporate income taxes as part of a capital-intensive project,” Robertson reports.

“The tax break could be worth about $46 million in the next decade, according to a memo by legislative fiscal staffers,” Robertson reports. “Apple could, however, save more than $300 million on its corporate taxes if the server farm is in place for 30 years, based on the memo.”

Full article here.

Press release (6/3/2009, Raleigh, NC, verbatim):

Gov. Perdue Welcomes Apple to North Carolina

Gov. Bev Perdue today announced that Apple has selected North Carolina as the location for a new data center. The company is expected to invest more than $1 billion in the project over nine years.

“North Carolina continues to be a prime location for growing and expanding global technology companies,” said Perdue. “We welcome Apple to North Carolina and look forward to working with the company as it begins providing a significant economic boost to local communities and the state.”

The announcement comes after Gov. Perdue this morning signed Senate Bill 575, which modifies the method by which capital-intensive businesses calculate corporate income tax liability in North Carolina.

The facility is expected to employ at least 50 full-time employees. The legislation requires that the average wage exceed the wage standard of the county in which it’s located. A data center such as this will typically contract locally for services such as server maintenance and repair, building and HVAC maintenance, landscaping and security – expenditures that could range from $5 million to $6 million annually in the region and create up to 250 jobs. The North Carolina Department of Commerce projects that a data center investment of $1 billion would create more than 3,000 jobs in the regional economy, including hundreds of jobs related to construction and others created as a result of economic growth.

“We are very pleased the General Assembly has recognized the role capital-intensive industries play in the state’s economy and their relationship to small businesses in our communities. Technology-driven projects like this may bring fewer overall jobs than traditional industry, but they have a tremendous economic impact through locally purchased goods and services,” Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco said.

As part of the legislation, a capital-intensive industry must meet investment and wage standards and provide its employees with health insurance in order to utilize the modified formula for calculating the state corporate income tax. It also must locate in one of the state’s more economically distressed Tier 1 or Tier 2 areas.

“During these tough economic times, it’s important to make the investments that create jobs in areas that need them the most,” said Perdue.

Source: State of North Carolina, Office of the Governor