(The Center Square) – Amazon Web Services is investing $10 billion in two data centers in Mississippi and lawmakers approved $260 million in taxpayer funds on Thursday to help finance the project.
State officials say the project will be the largest capital investment in the state’s history, dwarfing the $2.5 billion Steel Dynamics project announced last year and a $2 billion battery plant project approved last week.
State officials say 1,000 jobs will be created in the data centers located in two Madison County industrial parks north of Jackson.
One of the bills passed in the special session says taxpayers will also provide loans and grants for “site preparation, utilities, real estate purchases, infrastructure, utilities, roads, rail improvements, public works, buildings and fixtures, job recruitment and training, as well as planning, design, environmental mitigation and environmental impact studies.”
The bills passed in record time in the one-day special session with almost unanimous support by lawmakers. House Bill 1 created the Project Atlas fund to provide financial support for the project, while House Bill 2 had specific appropriations and Senate Bill 2001 was the vehicle for the project’s incentive package.
The project will also receive tax breaks on the state’s franchise tax, which is being phased out over the next few years, and the state’s 7% sales levy.
“This record-shattering $10 billion private sector investment will not only create 1,000 high-tech, high-paying jobs for Mississippians, but it will result in our state remaining at the forefront of innovation,” Gov. Tate Reeves said at a Thursday news conference. “Mississippi is building a business climate that is ripe for further growth, especially in the technology sector. On top of that, we’re doing what it takes to prepare our workforce to take on these high-paying jobs of the future.”
It was the second special session in as many weeks for Mississippi lawmakers, whose regular session began at the start of the month. Last week, Reeves called a special session to approve incentives for a vehicle battery plant in northern Mississippi that state officials say will have a capital investment of nearly $2 billion and employ 2,000 people.
That deal will cost taxpayers $350 million.