All of the computer data we create every day doesn’t just disappear. Billions, trillions, of bytes are stored somewhere. An effort is underway at the Capitol to get more of those storage places built in Missouri.

Server farms, they’re called. Or data centers. They’re warehouses that process data every hour of the day, every day of the year. These are the places that store or process credit card records, hospital records, pharmacy records, driving records, business records. You name it, all of this stuff has to be stored somewhere.

It’s a fast-growing business and some experts say Missouri is missing the big boat becaue it’s not offering incentives to plant those farms and warehouses here.

Ora Bailey of Kansas City, who heads the Missouri Coalition for Data Centers, says “As the U.S. produces less physical product, it processes more data. This is where the growth in the economy is occurring. The data center economy in the U.S. right now is $27 billion and it’s growing at eight percent a year.”

She and others are hoping the legislature passes a law that exempts those businsses from state and local sales and use taxes. She says it can make a difference in whether or not Missouri gets businsses worth billions. In fact, she says some businesses already have stricken Missouri from their go-to list because this state hasn’t provided those tax beaks.

A state Senate committee is considering the idea.

Listen to the committee testimony 18:33 mp3