Nevada gives eBay $30M in tax incentives for data center operations

Friday, Nov 20, 2015

State officials have signed off on a $30 million tax incentive package so e-commerce giant eBay will expand data center operations in Northern and Southern Nevada.

The board of the Governor's Office of Economic Development also voted Thursday to approve the incentives for eight other companies, including Premium Waters, with plans to put a bottling facility in Clark County, and Trigg Laboratories, a personal lubricant company relocating to Nevada.

EBay is planning to make a $412 million investment and create 52 new full-time jobs to expand existing data operations in Las Vegas and expand its operations to Northern Nevada. The board granted eBay tax abatements — on sales and use tax, modified business tax and personal property tax — that are estimated to total about $30 million.

Gov. Brian Sandoval touted eBay’s investment, which he hopes could lure other tech firms.

“This is eBay,” he said. “For Northern Nevada, it’s like getting LeBron James on our team.”

EBay will be the anchor tenant in Las Vegas data company Switch’s planned $1 billion facility near Reno. The e-commerce company is also planning to build an off-site location near Switch’s campus to support its operations.

Luke Matiasevich, eBay’s director of tax compliance and controversy, said Senate Bill 170, a measure that offers abatements of taxes for data centers and related businesses, was pivotal in its decision to invest in the state. EBay already has large operations in Arizona, California and Utah.

In addition to Silicon Valley-based eBay, the state lured several other California companies to set up operations here.

One of those companies is Trigg Laboratories, which manufactures personal lubricant and plans to invest at least $1.5 million and bring 63 jobs to Clark County as it relocates its business to the state. The Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance worked for more than a year to bring the company here.

The maker of Wet Lubricants has 80 products that comply with FDA regulations and does business in 64 countries. In addition to Nevada, it considered Texas, Florida and New York. Sean Smith, president of Trigg, said the company had to relocate because it faced a tougher regulatory regime in California.

“California is the grim reaper,” he said. “You have to be out of the state completely.”

Its estimated incentives total $214,000.

According to its application, Trigg plans to open a 70,000-square-foot facility by the beginning of January. The FDA will audit the plant.

At the meeting, another California company announced its desire to eventually relocate to Nevada. Vip Rubber Co., a manufacturer, received an incentive for a plastic extrusion division in Douglas County. Vip is exploring a relocation of its entire company in the future.

The board also granted about $1 million in tax incentives to Premium Waters, a Minneapolis company that plans to invest over $10 million and build a water facility north of downtown Las Vegas. “This will be a state-of-the-art facility that can blow, fill and label product at the fastest, most energy-efficient cost of any plant in the world,” a senior vice president, Bernie Zarda, wrote in a letter to the board. “We are certain we will be an asset to the community and wish to make a long-term financial commitment to the state of Nevada.”

The board also approved abatements for construction company Franzen-Hill, helicopter tourism company Maverick Aviation Group, automotive restoration retailer CJ Pony Parts, on-demand air carrier Steelman Aviation and air training company Tactical Air Support.

Maverick, which now employs 293 workers in Las Vegas, is expanding to Henderson with 16 employees.