Georgia: Georgia governor vetoes bill to pause data center tax breaks after it had passed both houses

May 11, 2024 | Posted by Abdul-Rahman Oladimeji

Gov. Brian Kemp this week decided to veto HB 1192, a bill that would pause tax breaks for data centers in Georgia after it had passed both houses.In a statement explaining the veto, Governor Kemp said the state extended data center exemptions to 2031 just two years ago, with projects starting in the interim based on that extension but are yet to be completed and qualify.

“The bill’s language would prevent the issuance of exemption certificates after an abrupt July 1, 2024 deadline for many customers of projects that are already in development—undermining the investments made by high-technology data center operators, customers, and other stakeholders in reliance on the recent extension, and inhibiting important infrastructure and job development,” he said.

G Webber, director of grassroots environmental organization Sierra Club’s Georgia chapter, described the veto as “beyond disappointing.”

“A two-year pause on this tax break and a promise to study the energy demand from data centers represented a positive step in our state’s efforts to plan for the growth of this relatively new industry,” Webber said. “Kemp is burying his head in the sand by refusing to address an issue already having such a significant impact on our state."