Fayette County benefits from QTS data center

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Data centers keep the internet moving — for both companies and our communities. QTS’ proposed data center offers an opportunity to keep our county moving as well.

Having served in various economic development roles in Georgia for over 20 years, I can unequivocally state that our area has never seen an opportunity like QTS’ proposed data center.

Niki Vanderslice, president and CEO of the Fayette County Development Authority. Photo/FCDA.
Niki Vanderslice, president and CEO of the Fayette County Development Authority. Photo/FCDA.

Residential taxes in most counties don’t come close to paying for all the government services community members receive. Business and corporate taxes carry the bulk of the tax burden.

By all estimates, QTS will be the largest single taxpayer in Fayette County within the next ten years. Previously, this property only brought the county about $11,000 in taxes yearly. The property tax revenue alone may exceed $40 million annually based on current millage rates when completed. That’s an over 350,000 percent increase. This revenue will undoubtedly help maintain our top-tier schools while reducing the tax strain on residents.

Fayette County has already benefitted to the tune of $430,000 annually from QTS’ presence by way of the Fayette County Development Authority’s financial self-sufficiency, which was funded by brokering the land. This means the FCDA has removed their requests for funding current and future budgets from the taxing entities in Fayette County. That’s a long-term win for taxpayers.

QTS’ presence will also attract additional investments to the county. For every dollar QTS invests here, their tenants will invest at least another dollar, and QTS will attract high-tech businesses to our area.

In addition to new opportunities for our community, QTS has committed to being a responsible steward. QTS was the top-ranked data center company for global sustainability. They provide careful attention to recycling and water processing at their data centers, and make clean water possible for thousands of families around the world through their partnership with World Vision, a humanitarian organization.

Further, QTS is working to ensure that any development will not strain the grid for residents. Instead, it will strengthen the grid by building redundancies emphasizing carbon neutrality.

The new company projects that the FCDA has been involved with over the last decade have had an ROI value upwards of 1500 percent. Our mission is to know what businesses will strengthen our community, and QTS is a wonderful addition. We look forward to their contributions to Fayette County. When you combine QTS’ corporate citizenry and our county’s quality of life, you have a good partner for Fayette County.

Niki Vanderslice, President/CEO

Fayette County Development Authority

Fayetteville, Ga.

5 COMMENTS

  1. There is no high tech job base in southern metro to include Newnan, Peachtree City, and Fayetteville corridor. I have lived here for 9 years and always driven or remoted to an IT management job that was 35 plus mile away. These are high paying jobs geld by young professionals with disposable income. I doubt a data center is a magnet for high tech growth since you can access all the computing resources remotely. Those involved in business development should focus resources on the economic growth engine of the past 40 years. Let warehouses, data centers, etc with cheap land demands go elsewhere

  2. The lack of jobs is key concern. The area is a void for technical jobs. I work in IT and I have lived in area almost 9 years. Never worked 1 day in 9 years at a job within 40 miles of here. Not sure any development authority has focused on high tech jobs and the young professionals with disposable incomes thus area needs

  3. While the deal was certainly good for the Fayette County government and the Fayette County Development Authority (FCDA), it remains to be seen whether it’s good for the actual citizens of Fayette. However, according to the author of the letter, the FCDA CEO, we citizens consume much more in government services than our residential taxes cover. I guess the implicit message is that we should shut up and thank the FCDA for taking care of us. Spoken like a true bureaucrat! Given the annual property taxes I pay, as well as other taxes including automobile taxes, sales taxes, etc., I’d be happy to challenge that tone-deaf claim. However, aside from the questionable argument that the increase in property tax revenue from this project will reduce the “tax strain on residents” (How? Is there a tax rebate coming to taxpayers???), there is another item that deserves additional scrutiny.

    Based on the reports published in this paper last year, the Fayette County Development Authority (FCDA) received $75 million in proceeds from the approx. $153 million land deal for this project. This is presumably the amount referred to in the letter above as being received from “brokering the land”. [As an aside; that’s a nice profit, especially for a government-funded entity, particularly when the article from last year specifically indicated that the FCDA eventually hired an outside broker to find prospects for the deal.]

    In any event, I’m not sure that a government-funded agency, such as the FCDA, achieving “financial self-sufficiency’ is in the best interests of the citizens of Fayette County. The FCDA was created and funded by various local government entities. I’m concerned that financial independence will reduce accountability and oversight. The FCDA consists of unelected bureaucrats that are not directly accountable to the voters and they are now financially independent. They lived off taxpayer money until they could make themselves financially independent, from a deal where they used money that was ultimately derived from taxpayers. How is that even possible and why is that a good thing?

    I’d like to see a full accounting of the $75 million FCDA received from this deal, as well as proposed plans for its use. Is the FCDA keeping the entire $75 million or distributing a portion of it back to the original municipal funding entities, or better yet, the citizens? Who is providing oversight, and are those providing oversight accountable to the public?

    Last year’s article touting this deal heralded the FCDA as being quite the risk-taker in developing this project. However, financial risks are a lot easier to take when the ultimate source of the money put at risk is the taxpayer. If the FCDA wants to be financially independent, then shut them down and let them reconstitute themselves as a private entity utilizing their own capital resources.

    The answers to some of these questions could perhaps be found in the meeting minutes from the monthly FCDA board meetings, but, alas, these minutes have not apparently been posted since January.

  4. Thanks for clearing that up for us lowly citizens. I for one was wondering why Fayetteville needed to cut down thousands of trees to put up a concrete building for a few jobs. But keeping with the current environment here, I’m not surprised. Seems our local government favors developers over citizens. Those millions coming in sure hasn’t helped taxpayers because our property taxes keep increasing. Do we need those millions for another mausoleum monument to our local government? How many more storage, fast food, oil change facilities will be too much for Fayetteville tax purposes. Keep cutting down the trees we don’t need them, right? Thanks for the bureaucratic speak explaining to us how wonderful we the people will benefit.