LANSING — State Representative Vanessa Guerra (D-Saginaw) welcomed the passage of legislation today that will help bring Switch, a major technology company, to Michigan. Switch intends to invest $5 billion to transform the former Steelcase headquarters in the Grand Rapids area into a state-of-the-art data center that will employ 400 people and support another 600 high-tech jobs at companies that will co-locate equipment at the center.

“My Democratic colleagues and I have been working hard to enact legislation that will bring new investment and job creation to Michigan, and that’s exactly what these bills do,” Guerra said. “These are exactly the kinds of 21st century jobs our state needs to keep young professionals in our state and reverse the brain drain.”

Guerra supported Senate Bills 616-617, which exempt certain equipment purchases by data centers, including Switch, from the state’s 6 percent sales tax and use tax. The bills require a certain amount of job creation to quality for the tax exemptions, and also require that the state’s School Aid Fund be held harmless from any loss of tax revenue incurred by the incentive.

“This is a win-win situation — bringing high-tech investment to Michigan without mortgaging our future in return,” Guerra said. “House Democrats were instrumental in passing these bills, and this legislation could spur other data centers to locate in other areas of the state. We will continue to work toward economic development that will help rebuild the middle class.”