Data Center Company Registered As A Lobbyist The Same Day Data Center Bills Were Introduced

Switch Reported $8,700 In Lobbying In Last Two Months Of 2015

The Nevada technology company that won tax breaks from the Legislature at the end of 2015 first registered as a lobbyist in Michigan the exact same day bills granting the tax breaks were introduced, according to state records.

The bills — three in the Senate and three in the House — came on Nov. 10, the same day Switch became an official lobbyist in Michigan, according to filings. About a month later on Dec. 15, the Senate and the House voted to send two of the bills to Gov. Rick Snyder for his signature.

The law that was enacted exempted the sale of data center equipment from the sales tax and use tax. Switch wanted the exemptions as part of its plan to bring a major data center project to Kent County.

According to Switch’s lobbying disclosure, the company spent $8,700 on lobbying between Nov. 10 and the end of the year. Of that amount, $295 was spent on buying food and beverages for public officials.

Switch didn’t disclose which lawmakers it purchased food for. Under state law, for 2015, lobbyists didn’t have to list individual public officials who received food and drinks if the items purchased for an official were less than $59 in a month or $375 in a year.

Likewise, for 2015, lobbyists didn’t have to disclose travel and lodging paid for for a public official if the amounts were under $775

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