Google demands more tax breaks for server farm rule

Google really is number one, in more ways than one.For the first time, Google has surpassed Microsoft as the world's most visited Internet property.
Written by Donna Bogatin, Contributor
Google really is number one, in more ways than one.

For the first time, Google has surpassed Microsoft as the world's most visited Internet property. Online measurement firm comScore Networks found that Google had just over a million more unique users in March: Google had 528 million unique visitors in March, up 5 percent from the previous month, according to comScore. Microsoft had 527 million visitors during the same month, up 3.7 percent.

Of course, comScore measurement skills are debatable, just ask the IAB! SEE Click Fraud Audits: What is IAB’s dog in the fight?

Nevertheless, an insightful academic, Geoffrey Bowker, executive director of the Center for Science, Technology and Society at Santa Clara University, underscores: "At the moment, everything that Google is touching turns to gold," as cited by The San Francisco Chronicle.

If so, than why are cash-strapped state governments lining up to make Google even richer, at the expense of their own taxpayers?

In February, I reported “Google surprise? Google strong-arms government officials in North Carolina:

Google’s near fanatical obsession of deeming its standard business operations to be of “top secret” status has led the $150 billion market cap corporation to strong-arm local government officials in the course of attempting to negotiate favorable real estate development terms.

In Google defends $165 million ‘few strings attached’ tax breaks I discuss how such Google tactics came under fire.

Has Google since become a more collaborative corporate citizen in dealing with state governments in its never ending quest for server farm rule, tax breaks included? Apparently not.

Google is playing its you need us more than we need you card with the Iowa state legislature, and seems to have a winning Googley hand. Not only has Google once again achieved its Google only special "top secret" government privileges, it has apparently succeeded in wooing a legislative representative to serve as a prime Google spokesperson, Senator Bill Dotzler, a Democrat from Waterloo.

According to Dotzler, the trend now is away from having a computer with all the bells and whistles -- the software programs -- and toward "server farms" which give computer users access to a wide variety of options they'd be hard-pressed to store on a single computer.

"YouTube is a perfect example of that where they have all that stuff sitting in servers and you can access it instantaneously," Dotzler says. The bill Iowa lawmakers are crafting would erase state sales taxes on the electricity used in such "server farms" and Dotzler says that would amount to a huge savings for a company like Google. (as reported by Radio Iowa).

As per Google's requirements, the bill doesn't mention Google. Dotzler, its main backer, said Google plans to invest up to $600 million at a center that would employ about 200 people. The bill would give Google a tax break on both the sales tax from utility bills and a property tax break for the site of the center.

The Senate approved the bill, 47-2. Approval is also expected from the House.

Dotzler has undoubtedly been well coached by Google: 

"Really, the biggest problem with these server farms is the heat that's generated in them. Just one server panel generates the equivalent of a seven-foot-high pile of toaster ovens, so can you imagine the amount of heat?"

What's the problem? Google seems to be able to reflect all heat!

ALSO: Google scary now? Personal Health Records, sponsored by Google, next

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