Last year’s announcement that Micron Technology Inc. would open a computer chip fabrication facility just north of Syracuse boosted the prospects of revitalizing the economy of upstate New York.
The complex would be located in the White Pine Commerce Park in Clay. It is projected to create at least 50,000 jobs statewide over the next few decades.
Micron’s plant would include the nation’s largest clean room space at 2.4 million square feet, the size of about 40 football fields. Clean room spaces are vital for companies that produce electronics. They are controlled environments designed to filter out pollutants.
Micron is the fourth-largest producer of semiconductors in the world, and it intends to invest up to $100 billion over the next 20-plus years to construct the campus in Onondaga County — this will be the largest private investment in state history. At $20 billion, the first phase of investment should be finished by 2030.
U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., played a lead role in helping to bring Micron to Central New York. He sponsored the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors and Science Act, which was signed into law Aug. 9.
“After years of work, it’s official: Micron is coming to Central New York! With the CHIPS and Science bill I wrote and championed as the fuse, Micron’s $100 billion investment in upstate New York will fundamentally transform the region into a global hub for manufacturing and bring tens of thousands of good-paying, high-tech and construction jobs to Central New York,” Schumer said in a news release issued Oct. 4 by his office. “This is our Erie Canal moment. Just as the original Erie Canal did centuries ago, this 21st century Erie Canal will flow through the heart of Central New York and redefine upstate New York’s place in the global economy for generations to come.”
Schumer pursued the CHIPS and Science Act, and his efforts paid off. The law is designed to create jobs and boost economic growth by investing in U.S. semiconductor manufacturing.
However, Micron cannot undertake its ambitious plan until the government acts to free up available revenue. On Feb. 24, Schumer urged the U.S. Department of the Treasury to complete the guidelines it’s working on regarding tax credits for U.S. computer chip manufacturing firms.
Companies such as Micron may claim a 25% federal tax credit on the cost of construction and equipment purchases for new chip fabrication facilities. Micron officials said they won’t be able to proceed with their plans to construct a plant in Clay until they’re able to take advantage of this tax benefit.
“The CHIPS and Science Act set aside $24 billion for investment tax credits. The tax credits are in addition to $52 billion included in the bill as incentives for chipmakers to build new plants in the United States and open new domestic research facilities,” an article by the Post-Standard published Sunday by the Watertown Daily Times reported. “Next week, the U.S. Department of Commerce is expected to open the application process for companies, including Micron, to compete for $39 billion in federal grants for building new plants in the United States. Schumer, D-N.Y., said [Feb. 24] that it’s important for the investment tax credit program, run by the Treasury Department, to be on a parallel fast track so that companies can start building and equipping the new plants.”
The Treasury Department needs to wrap up these guidelines so that companies such as Micron can begin their projects. These will breathe new life into stagnant regional economies, and it would be a shame if they were left dangling due to the plague of Beltway Bureaucracy.
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