The village of Hoffman Estates, Illinois, has raised taxes and fees as it looks to replace two aging fire stations.
As part of that, it will roll out a higher electricity tax rate for high-volume users of electricity, in particular data centers. For the upcoming Microsoft data center in Lakewood Boulevard, an additional $900,000 per year in revenue is expected.
Microsoft took over the former AT&T site near Chicago in early 2021, and announced plans to spend $200 million on a first phase. Last month, Compass Datacenters was revealed to be planning to acquire a former Sears office complex in Hoffman Estates spanning 2.4 million sq ft (222,970 sqm).
A wider tax incentive plan from the state of Illinois, launched in 2019, has helped bring facilities to the state. Projects receive redemptions from state and local sales taxes on data center equipment for 10 years if they invest a minimum of $250 million in the facility and create 20 well-paid full-time jobs.
The new electricity tax is aimed at helping fund a $25 million refurbishment of two fire stations in the village. Alongside the tax, the cost of using an ambulance has been raised, local paper The Daily Herald states.
The previous flat fee of $1,250 for residents and $1,500 for nonresidents will increase to $3,394 across the board, with an additional $20 per mile traveling to the hospital. The costs are expected to be covered by insurance, and any portion not covered will be waived - as long as you are a resident. There will also be a basic fee of $250 for emergency medical services without transport.
This, the village believes, will raise another $840,000 a year.
Additionally, costs to disabled people asking the fire department for help with non-fire-related tasks have increased, although this is believed to be less about raising funds and more about discouraging use.
DCD has contacted the village for further details on the exact tax rate, and how it impacts existing facilities. We will update this story when we learn more.