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Utah Set To Exempt NSA Datacenter From Power Tax, After All

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the please-let-us-make-it-cheaper-for-you-to-spy-on-us dept.

Government 86

Nerval's Lobster writes "They may not all support what the NSA will do with its giant new datacenter in Bluffdale, but Utah officials do seem to agree on the value of having a world-class, $1.5 billion datacenter built in their territory. In general, they're for it, and are proving that by changing a law that would have added about $2.4 million in taxes to the datacenter's power bill—an addition that was an unpleasant surprise to NSA officials when they heard about it in May. A bill signed into law April 1 imposed a tax of up to 6 percent on electricity from Rocky Mountain Power, a requirement the NSA protested in an email to Utah Gov. Gary Herbert April 26. State tax agencies swear they informed the NSA about the impact of the law when it was still under debate; NSA officials denied knowing anything about it and complained that it would make Utah a less attractive site for the datacenter, which was only three to four months from completion at the time."

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Regarding this story: (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44460729)

I couldn't possibly eat as much as I'd want to vomit.

Re:Regarding this story: (1)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | about a year ago | (#44461085)

To be fair . . . what exactly would adding a hefty tax to a government agency's bill accomplish? Other than saving the federal government from sending money to the state, but it's already doing that with the building and personnel itself.

Re:Regarding this story: (3, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#44461443)

What is it going to accomplish? Are ye Daft?

It accomplishes exactly what any tax does. You were expecting the Feds to pick up and move their data center?

Re:Regarding this story: (4, Insightful)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | about a year ago | (#44461637)

It generates government revenue, paid for by government revenue plus overhead. So . . .

Re:Regarding this story: (4, Informative)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#44461769)

Sigh.....

The State of Utah would get far more in tax revenue from the feds if it could tax the power this site is going to use.

Some of that tax money would be paid by Utah citizens via their Federal Income tax, but the overwhelmingly vast majority of it would come from the rest of the US tax payers in other states.

As it stands now, Utah tax payers are going to have to pick up the slack for the free-loading federal government.

Re:Regarding this story: (1)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | about a year ago | (#44461919)

I said something to that effect in my first post. Don't talk down to somebody about missing something when they have addressed it.

Re:Regarding this story: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44463137)

No, you didn't.

Re:Regarding this story: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44462539)

the state of utah is getting far more than tax revenue.. they're gonna all the intel on anti-utah / anti-morman communications and sentiments within the state... a true bargain by any measure.

Re:Regarding this story: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44461865)

TROLLL!!!

Utah is the Mitt capital of the U.S. of A.

Anyone who believes Mitt's not behind this is very uninformed.

Remember, Mitt did not lose the election; he choose not to win it instead.

Re:Regarding this story: (2)

lightknight (213164) | about a year ago | (#44462843)

Letting us know exactly how much it is costing the rest of us to subsidize this thing?

I know, I know...for people high enough up the financial food chain, money is just an abstract symbol to be manipulated. But for those who are left in bondage as indentured servants to make good on those bad promises, it is quite real.

Irony (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44460747)

An indicator of NSA surveillance effectiveness?

Re:Irony (5, Insightful)

daremonai (859175) | about a year ago | (#44460875)

The problem is, the state officials talked about it publicly. If they had just whispered it to each other in private cell phone conversations, the NSA might have paid attention.

Re:Irony (2)

cheater512 (783349) | about a year ago | (#44463531)

Unless it was their other shenanigans which they did do privately.that the NSA did listen to which made them change their minds.

Well it figures. (5, Insightful)

marcello_dl (667940) | about a year ago | (#44460749)

State tax agencies swear they informed the NSA about the impact of the law when it was still under debate; NSA officials denied knowing anything about it

Ladies and gentlemen, here are the guys whose job is information processing for the security of your nation...

Re:Well it figures. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44460821)

Goverment deals are made like this: "Give NSA a break on taxes otherwise those juicy pictures, text and phone files get sent to your spouse."

Re:Well it figures. (0)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#44461441)

Citation, please?

Re:Well it figures. (1)

Type44Q (1233630) | about a year ago | (#44461895)

Just because you've been repeatedly outed as a government shill doesn't mean you have to be quite so obvious about it, you know. ;)

Re:Well it figures. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44460965)

Ladies and gentlemen, here are the guys whose job is information processing for the security of your nation...

They send a mean email, though.

a requirement the NSA protested in an email to Utah Gov. Gary Herbert

If even want a response (boilerplate response "thank you for agreeing with us no matter what you said", not an actual reaction) from a government official, I need to send a paper letter. Emails get trashed without response.

Re:Well it figures. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44461825)

Emails get trashed without response.
 
Emails go straight back to the NSA.

only three to four months from completion (3, Informative)

frovingslosh (582462) | about a year ago | (#44460985)

Yea. we didn't know about it. We were too busy reading everyone's emails. Ignorance of the law is our excuse. Give us a tax break, which simply means that the average citizens pay more than the people who spy on them. The irony here is that they were only 3-4 months from completion, "AT THE TIME" and are less now. So it wasn't like they were going to leave the state, walk away from all of the money already spent, and let the citizens go without someone to spy on them. They would have paid the tax, they just didn't like it. Glad to know that everyone else there must like it. I guess the Utah state constitution doesn't have any sort of equal protection clause that would prevent giving this unfair treatment to some but not to others (mine does, but it is ignored when inconvenient).

Re:only three to four months from completion (3, Interesting)

Common Joe (2807741) | about a year ago | (#44463827)

They would have paid the tax, they just didn't like it. Glad to know that everyone else there must like it. I guess the Utah state constitution doesn't have any sort of equal protection clause that would prevent giving this unfair treatment to some but not to others (mine does, but it is ignored when inconvenient).

You know, I'm glad you said this because I don't see if said often. Different taxes for different entities blows my mind on a regular basis. People think giving large corporations (or in this case, large government) special tax breaks is a good thing. If cutting taxes are so good, why don't they do it across the board? Or, conversely, if raising taxes are so good, why don't they do it across the board? In other words, if the idea is good for one entity, it must be good for every entity or business. Why should my wife (who ran a business of just one person for a number of years) be treated any different from these guys or Amazon? Just treat everyone the same. Less waste of time, paperwork, and resources than making exceptions for here and there too.

I get politics, but it frustrates the hell out of me most days.

Re:Well it figures. (1)

msauve (701917) | about a year ago | (#44461027)

It's their canned response to any question. Just like Schultz [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Well it figures. (2)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#44461457)

State tax agencies swear they informed the NSA about the impact of the law when it was still under debate; NSA officials denied knowing anything about it

Ladies and gentlemen, here are the guys whose job is information processing for the security of your nation...

Fine, have it your way. But before you do, lets get a discovery motion in front of a judge and we will see exactly what the NSA knew and when they Knew it.

Re:Well it figures. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44461623)

I guess the good news is the politicians must be 4 degrees of separation from the bad guys rather than the standard NSA-interested "2 to 3".

Re:Well it figures. (1)

slick7 (1703596) | about a year ago | (#44463193)

Ladies and gentlemen, here are the guys whose job is information processing for the security of your nation...

Here's an entity that cares nothing of this country or the people who live ... er...struggle to survive while tax money once again is wasted on the ingrates.

I know nothing (5, Funny)

portwojc (201398) | about a year ago | (#44460753)

Just to be fair the NSA is denying knowing a lot these days.

Re:I know nothing (3, Funny)

UdoKeir (239957) | about a year ago | (#44460983)

They may also have received the email, but now can't find it.

Re:I know nothing (2)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#44461477)

Maybe because they stored it in the UTAH data center, and haven't paid the power bill.

Re:I know nothing (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44461633)

Duh. They can't find it since their searches returns too many results. You would think nerds would know this, right?

Re:I know nothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44461079)

In the immortal words of Sgt. Schultz...

Re:I know nothing (2)

ron_ivi (607351) | about a year ago | (#44461105)

the NSA is denying

People keep speaking of the NSA as one monolithic organism.

I think it's quite possible that many people in the NSA (including it's spokespeople and PR people) are kept in the dark about what goes on in other parts. One step further, it seems possible that the entire NSA doesn't know everything about what the contractors it outsources to (like the one Snowden worked for) are doing.

For example in these interview: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/government_programs/july-dec13/whistleblowers_08-01.html [pbs.org] At around 5:23 into this the NSA General Counsel denies collecting content (as opposed to metadata); and at 6:00 the NSA's inspector general states that the "as [he] understand[s] it and from what [he] know" NSA sticks to what courts authorize it and only collects telephony metadata.

Yet Snowden's leaks clearly suggest that Booz Allen at least had far greater capabilities than what the NSA leadership was apparently aware of.

TL/DR: maybe they're being sincere when they deny knowing what's going on. Not sure if that would be disturbing or re-assuring, though.

Re:I know nothing (3, Funny)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#44461519)

TL/DR: maybe they're being sincere when they deny knowing what's going on. Not sure if that would be disturbing or re-assuring, though.

Oh, come on!! Even YOU don't believe that tripe.

Director: What do all you guys in this room do?
Guys: Secret stuff sir. You don't want to know.
Director: Right, well, I'd like to stay, but its lunch time. Gotta run.
Guys: kbye!

Re:I know nothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44461831)

For an organization being the bastion for freedom and democracy, they sure are kept in the dark about many things over there.

Re:I know nothing (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#44461449)

Just to be fair the NSA is denying knowing a lot these days.

They are only alleged to be all hearing, not all listening & knowing.

"NSA officials denied knowing anything about it" (5, Insightful)

harvestsun (2948641) | about a year ago | (#44460759)

Well there's one we haven't heard before.

Re:"NSA officials denied knowing anything about it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44460945)

Of course the officials know nothing. Why do you think they hire a bunch of lackeys? As a shield to the truth and as scapegoats.

Even the government (3, Insightful)

sumdumass (711423) | about a year ago | (#44460765)

Even the federal government is looking at tax rates and making location decisions based around them. I suppose this makes a little sense to those who understand business and how they operate, but I bet it blows the mind of those who think it is a crime to subsidies business or that government can just print money and pay out the nose for their crap.

Re:Even the government (2)

RoknrolZombie (2504888) | about a year ago | (#44461071)

but I bet it blows the mind of those who think it is a crime to subsidies business or that government can just print money and pay out the nose for their crap.

Oh. Like politicians.

Re:Even the government (1)

Seumas (6865) | about a year ago | (#44461077)

If tax-payer subsidization of religion is acceptable, might as well go for this, too.

Re:Even the government (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about a year ago | (#44461127)

Even the federal government is looking at tax rates and making location decisions based around them. I suppose this makes a little sense to those who understand business and how they operate, but I bet it blows the mind of those who think it is a crime to subsidies business or that government can just print money and pay out the nose for their crap.

That just gave me an idea... government has been really good at escaping blame/having consequences for its actions... maybe what's needed is to have the IRS investigate some of these branches of government; I bet they could shut down the NSA pretty quickly, or at least get them cleaned up.

Spying fail (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44460769)

If only the NSA had been doing a better job spying on the Utah legislature that would have found out about this in advance.

So that's where my money is going: (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44460779)

A Datacenter to Nowhere.

Also, it always pleases me when I see the government changing the laws to benefit itself, but not the people it is supposed to serve. USA! #1!

This makes me laugh.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44460803)

"NSA officials denied knowing anything about it"

Imagine that.

Re:This makes me laugh.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44461051)

At least the "No Such Agency" now admits its own existence. Baby steps...

3 or 4 months from completition (5, Insightful)

schneidafunk (795759) | about a year ago | (#44460819)

They may be protesting, but don't be fooled into thinking they were going to move the billion dollar facility because of a $3 million tax. Utah should keep the tax money.

Re:3 or 4 months from completition (4, Interesting)

Bucc5062 (856482) | about a year ago | (#44460857)

There you go. Why back down when it was close to completion. Sure, adjust it later, but the NSA had to have some mojo on Utah politicians to get thm to change a tax law they all voted for.

Re:3 or 4 months from completition (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44461069)

well it is their job to know where all the bodies are buried

Re:3 or 4 months from completition (2)

Greyfox (87712) | about a year ago | (#44461117)

I don't really see what the hubub is anyway. Either the taxpayers of Utah foot the bill or the taxpayers of the USA foot the bill. Either way, the bill's getting paid.

Re:3 or 4 months from completition (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44463355)

The bill is far more onerous for the state of Utah than the entire country. There are far more people to spread the cost over in the entire country than in one state.

Re:3 or 4 months from completition (2, Informative)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#44461657)

They may be protesting, but don't be fooled into thinking they were going to move the billion dollar facility because of a $3 million tax. Utah should keep the tax money.

Don't kid yourself into thinking that it isn't possible. When the US made various plans for closing military bases in the past, it was almost an omen of doom for new construction to start. It's almost as if the right hand didn't know what the left hand was doing. In some ways that hasn't changed.

A brand-new U.S. military headquarters in Afghanistan. And nobody to use it. [washingtonpost.com]

The windowless, two-story structure, which is larger than a football field, was completed this year at a cost of $34 million. But the military has no plans to ever use it. Commanders in the area, who insisted three years ago that they did not need the building, now are in the process of withdrawing forces and see no reason to move into the new facility. For many senior officers, the unused headquarters has come to symbolize the staggering cost of Pentagon mismanagement: As American troops pack up to return home, U.S.-funded contractors are placing the finishing touches on projects that are no longer required or pulling the plug after investing millions of dollars. In Kandahar province, the U.S. military recently completed a $45 million facility to repair armored vehicles and other complex pieces of equipment. The space is now being used as a staging ground to sort through equipment that is being shipped out of the country. In northern Afghanistan, the State Department last year abandoned plans to occupy a large building it had intended to use as a consulate. After spending more than $80 million and signing a 10-year lease, officials determined the facility was too vulnerable to attacks.

Re:3 or 4 months from completition (1)

Richy_T (111409) | about a year ago | (#44463029)

Everyone should forward this to any politician they hear crying about the sequester.

Re:3 or 4 months from completition (1)

ron_ivi (607351) | about a year ago | (#44464001)

Everyone should forward this to any politician they hear crying about the sequester.

As proof that it's badly needed to trim waste? Or as proof that it shouldn't happen?

Re:3 or 4 months from completition (1)

Richy_T (111409) | about a year ago | (#44485727)

Just that there's room for cuts (real cuts, not reductions in budget increases). Lots and lots of lovely cuts.

Does this avoid making power usage public ? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44460869)

Dont know much how the taxes are calculated. But, does avoid having to pay taxes also help remove the power consumption data from being public ?

Unneeded (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44460883)

If NSA wasn't recording everyone's mail and voice they wouldn't need this center. It could still be put to good use: Make it the replacement for the Yucca Mountain nuclear storage facility. The servers, switches, generators, office furniture, coffee pots, etc. could be vital shielding. One possible drawback: the spent fuel might object.

UTAH stands for... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44460935)

U.T.A.H = Ubiquitous Telephone Analysis Hub

How unselfish of them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44460979)

They must be highly evolved.

Well, it just goes to show (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44461055)

What happens when you let a fucking nigger run your country!

Re:Well, it just goes to show (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44461567)

Now, now. If George Zimmerman taught us anything it's that he's a white nigger.

When Rocky Mountain Power ... (3, Funny)

PPH (736903) | about a year ago | (#44461565)

... forgets to enter this exception into their CICS system and the NSA is in arrears $2.4 mill, I want to be the lineman handling the disconnect notice.

No brainer (1)

asamad (658115) | about a year ago | (#44461693)

$1.5B 4 months from completion ....

hit them with the tax. what they are going to throw away $1.5B in setup cost and then spend another $1.5B if not more on a new centre. on $2.4M worth of tax ...

Stupid politicians, sure they are just cover their arses... Wouldn't surprise me if the NSA flexed some muscle ... we will reveal this if you don't ....

Herp-a-derp (1)

Smokey Behr (2940937) | about a year ago | (#44461739)

The fscking NSA is snooping on damned near every American both onshore and offshore, as well as millions of people overseas, snarfing up dozens of terabytes of data on a DAILY basis; yet has no fscking clue as to the legislation that is going to directly affect them and their budget? This is another reason why we need to eliminate as many agencies of the Federal Government as possible, and get back to Article I, Section 8 permitted functions.

So what if they protest? (1)

haruchai (17472) | about a year ago | (#44461879)

Fuck 'em. They can pay the bill like everyone else. Don't like it? Move your shit somewhere else - it's called outsourcing or offshoring or whatever.
Lots of corporations have move their operations elsewhere when they were dissatisfied.

The NSA can do the same; I'm sure they'd be welcome at Guantanamo Bay.

Re:So what if they protest? (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about a year ago | (#44462585)

Umm.. That is exactly what they said they might do. The part about complaining that the location isn't as attractive with the tax in place is a threat (hollow or not) to move it or build it somewhere else that doesn't have the tax. Yes, the Federal Government has taken the concept of off shoring and embraced it.

Except in this case, the NSA (and most companies for that matter) doesn't have to move it off shore, they can simply move it (or in this case, build it in) to another state that doesn't have the costs. Utah doesn't have to compete with China, they have to compete with Ohio, Kentucky, and every other state in the US. It's why Alabama, Ohio, Kentucky, and some states other then Michigan (Detroit), has seen a huge investment by the automakers over the last 20-30 years while traditional strongholds get passed over in a lost of cases.

Now, with or without the tax, Utah has to determine if they are in a better position with or without the data center located there. In this case, they determined they are better off with it, even without the tax revenue and made an appropriate response. They have determined the benefits outweigh the alternative of no data center and that is the prerogative of the Utah government.

Re:So what if they protest? (1)

haruchai (17472) | about a year ago | (#44462811)

I would expect that the governors of states who want to secede because Obama is big, black and scary would not want any secret government listening post on their hallowed ground.

So that knocks 30 states off the list.

Re:So what if they protest? (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about a year ago | (#44462941)

ha ha.. that's a good one. But if you actually believe that, it shows your ignorance. Obama being big or black or scary has nothing to do with them- or more precisely their citizens wanting to secede. It's the legislation and policy that seems to be the problem and that is separate from a government listening post unless it's like the IRS and used against them for political purposes.

Re:So what if they protest? (1)

haruchai (17472) | about a year ago | (#44463495)

The IRS scandal is bullshit - there was no involvement from the Oval Office and groups on both sides of the political spectrum were singled out for scrutiny.
And if your stated philosophy is low taxes at any cost, why be surprised if the tax man is suspicious of you?

A new story about the NSA giving $150 million to the Brits to help spy for them and they're bitching about $2 mil to a US state to house their datacenter?

http://news.slashdot.org/story/13/08/02/2220201/nsa-provided-100m-funding-for-gchq-operations [slashdot.org]

They couldn't go fuck themselves hard and fast enough to suit me.

Re:So what if they protest? (0)

sumdumass (711423) | about a year ago | (#44463613)

Sigh, First, stop trying to defend obama and assuming crap was said when nothing of the kind was. The IRS suppressed the speech of political groups and disseminated private information about them to other groups apposed to their views. That in and of itself is cause to worry anyone whether an official from the oval office is involved or not (imagine if they did that to everyone wanting gay marriage to be allowed or whoever spoke against government sponsored religious activities or whatever) Imagine if the IRS was attacking liberal organizations like that.

Second, both sides of the political spectrum were not singled out the same. Once the more liberal groups made their political bent known, their approvals were expedited- 99% of all liberal applicants were approved. Only 30% of applications with the words 'progress' or 'progressive' in their names were held up where 100% of the applications with Tea Party, Patriots, or 9/12 in their names where singled out.

Finally, this isn't about wanting taxes or not. Besides, the IRS is NOT A POLITICAL organization and should not in any way be singling anyone out because of political ideology or political speech. But the IRS was singling out organizations because they wanted to teach about the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, advocated the repeal of the affordable care act, talk about election fraud and prevention and so on. All of these are protected by the first amendment and when they allow groups with their bend on ideology to have the tax exempt status and not those they appose, then there is a serious problem that twits like you should be worried about. Imagine what happens when someone opposite your screwed up ideology gets power and the IRS starts coming after you.

A new story about the NSA giving $150 million to the Brits to help spy for them and they're bitching about $2 mil to a US state to house their datacenter?

I don't really care. The $150 million is buying something other then the $2 million would have. Access to information and processing information is not the same things. Besides, the 2 mil could have been save by simply locating somewhere else. Utah found that the benefits of the data center was more then the alternative of a tax and no data center to pay it out.

Re:So what if they protest? (1)

haruchai (17472) | about a year ago | (#44465103)

The IRS suppressed the speech of political groups and disseminated private information about them to other groups apposed to their views

"Suppressed the speech"?? How? But there was what seems to be a clear violation of policy in some of the info that was released to ProPublica.

Finally, this isn't about wanting taxes or not. Besides, the IRS is NOT A POLITICAL organization and should not in any way be singling anyone out because of political ideology or political speech

The IRS is an INVESTIGATIVE org and since there was influx of groups on both sides applying for tax-exempt status thanks to the idiotic Supreme Court decision on Citizens United, extra scrutiny is warranted based on a group activities since there are restrictions on the POLITICAL activity for groups granted tax-exempt status.

To reiterate, if a group seeking to be tax-exempt is going to be POLITICAL, then it behooves the IRS to be INVESTIGATIVE.

Imagine what happens when someone opposite your screwed up ideology gets power and the IRS starts coming after you.

That IS a grave concern and serious allegations SHOULD be investigated - but Issa and co appear to have started on the assumption that Obama has the Cincinnati office on speed dial and their "investigation" quickly became a witch hunt and is going up in flames.

twits like you

Et tu, sumdumass?

Further reading:
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/05/19/1210132/-The-Only-Scandal-Regarding-the-IRS-is-How-EVERY-Tea-Party-Group-Obtained-501-C-4-Status [dailykos.com]
http://www.salon.com/2013/05/15/meet_the_group_the_irs_actually_revoked_democrats/ [salon.com]

Re:So what if they protest? (0)

sumdumass (711423) | about a year ago | (#44468099)

"Suppressed the speech"?? How? But there was what seems to be a clear violation of policy in some of the info that was released to ProPublica.

lol.. you don't think blocking the tax exempt status which creates a huge disadvantage for those donating to them doesn't suppress the amount of or types of speech those organizations had the ability to do? Do you think having to pay taxes in the range of 20% of their intake doesn't mean they have 20% less ability to generate that said speech?

The IRS is an INVESTIGATIVE org and since there was influx of groups on both sides applying for tax-exempt status thanks to the idiotic Supreme Court decision on Citizens United, extra scrutiny is warranted based on a group activities since there are restrictions on the POLITICAL activity for groups granted tax-exempt status.

Lol.. I don't think anyone is disputing that nor do they have a problem with it. The problem is not the extra scrutiny or the investigations. The problem _is_ that it was applied one_sided based on political ideology. Only 30% of the groups with liberal sounding names were sided for extra scrutiny with only 1 of them being denied. All the tea party and conservative groups were flagged with no further processing being done and mounds of irregular information being asked for including names of donors (which was passed to apposing groups) and operational strategies which was also passed to apposing groups.

To reiterate, if a group seeking to be tax-exempt is going to be POLITICAL, then it behooves the IRS to be INVESTIGATIVE.

TO REITERATE, if it was evenly enforced, there wouldn't be a problem. But it wasn't and tea party groups were singled out with vital information that should have remained private being passed on to opposing groups.

That IS a grave concern and serious allegations SHOULD be investigated - but Issa and co appear to have started on the assumption that Obama has the Cincinnati office on speed dial and their "investigation" quickly became a witch hunt and is going up in flames.

The director in charge of the division has made many trips to the white house, this is fact. The Cincinnati division was directed to send the conservative and tea party applications only to Washington for further review. The political train on this does reach Washington- when it reached Obama or not is a completely separate story that I never went into.

Further reading:

I would suggest you start looking at source other than ideological sites like the two you posted links to. They are just like your initial reaction which ignored what was said and went into a defensive mode to protect your ideology and political leaders. Look up the lawsuit and the details on it that has been filed against the IRS. You are only getting hand picked details that support some preconceived notion you possess and it makes you a twit. By the way, look up the definition of twit, it is aptly used here.

Re:So what if they protest? (1)

haruchai (17472) | about a year ago | (#44528423)

You don't like the sites I linked to? Do they not conform to your ideological stance? Did you bother to actually read them or were your ideological lenses too deeply tinted?
Try this one from the New Yorker - http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/johncassidy/2013/06/darrell-issa-vanishing-irs-tax-scandal.html [newyorker.com]
Are you really so naive as to think that a lawsuit filing contains only the unvarnished truth?
Do lawyers habitually include details that support or exonerate the other party?

You'd better HOPE its a "data center" (2)

Baldrson (78598) | about a year ago | (#44461969)

Look over Robert Hecht-Nielsen's "Confabulation Theory" -- in particular the confabulation equation [psu.edu] which he posits is a major discovery that debunks the "Bayesian religion" by providing a scalable model of cognition in which the parallel processing elements are performing functions similar to the brain's thalamocortical modules. Among other things, he claims that this is the holy grail of artificial modeling of natural intelligence -- that confabulation theory captures, in a scalable algorithm the essence of learning, thought and behavior. He is, in essence, claiming to have achieved strong AI [wikipedia.org] .

It is, of course, tempting to dismiss his extreme claims as some sort of mental aberration -- perhaps resulting from his having hit the jackpot with the sale of his company for, by some accounts, between $3B and $4B to one of the most prominent credit rating agencies in the world.

On the other hand, he did sell his company for between $3B and $B to one of the most prominent credit rating agencies in the world.

Moreover, if we give the initial statement in Clark's Laws any credence: "When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right.", RHN's age and the fact that he is commenting on his specialization should be given some weight.

With this in mind, I would ask you to review the linked presentation [sandia.gov] -- which I located at Sandia's website (and of which I recommend you commit to memory lest it disappear down the memory hole) -- made by RHN at Sandia in 2006. Note he proposes an "Extraction System Organization" with a budget rising to $300B/year by 2015.

In particular, I found this item interesting:

Collectors and Analysts have no need to know how extraction system works (this knowledge should be highly restricted) – users need only know extraction system’s capabilities and how to use it.

CAUTION: Some obviously psychotic individuals [google.com] claim there to be a deep relationship between credit card companies and the surveillance state. They should be locked up for their own safety.

hmmm........ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44462045)

Utah complies with NSA while gun in the face

Re:hmmm........ (1)

drkim (1559875) | about a year ago | (#44463819)

Utah complies with NSA while gun in the face

Gun? Ha, ha, ha! It's NSA:

"Dear Gov. Gary Herbert,

Greetings. We at the NSA were wondering if you remember that hooker you met in Puerto Rico?
If not, perhaps you would like some souvenir pictures to share with your family? No?

BTW: Let us know how our data center project approval is going! Thanks!

NSA"

Guess who NSA will not be spying on... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44462137)

Utah senators...or else they owe 2mil.

Tax to what end/// (1)

niftymitch (1625721) | about a year ago | (#44462139)

At first this topic seemed lame.... but.

It makes me wonder about the cash flow associated with energy taxes in Utah.

If this is an honest tax and not a pure revenue grab then I believe the Feds should pay their own way. i.e. if the tax exists to pay for associated infrastructure used and consumed by the site then there is a need for the Feds to pay their own way.

Utah to my knowledge is a net energy exporter because of the Colorado River and the large low sulfur coal deposits and tall stack power generation facilities. To tax local consumption seems at odds with a net exporter. Further is there a power export tax.

I also wonder about hazards natural and man made in this area.

The area has one of the largest production and storage facilities associated with rocket fuel. Mostly relocated from southern Nevada after the big blast south of Vegas.

The area has some earthquake risks. A major quake zone "Intermountain Seismic Belt" runs through the area. It is unclear if there is a modern risk but when I lived there and looked into the topic I was concerned and put together my first quake bug out kit.

Lastly and most importantly is "GLOBAL WARMING" that could turn the Great Salt Lake Desert into a great brine lake that laps up on the bounds of the new facility. Electronics and brine do not play well together. I do not know the elevation of the construction and if they site could be cut off but I do know that many wells south of the area are salty as heck and also contain serious levels of radon.

Perhaps the location is exactly correct.

Re:Tax to what end/// (1)

tlambert (566799) | about a year ago | (#44462857)

At first this topic seemed lame.... but.

It makes me wonder about the cash flow associated with
energy taxes in Utah.

If this is an honest tax and not a pure revenue grab then I believe
the Feds should pay their own way. i.e. if the tax exists to pay
for associated infrastructure used and consumed by the site then
there is a need for the Feds to pay their own way.

It's a tax to fund the purchase of carbon credits.

Utah to my knowledge is a net energy exporter because of the Colorado
River and the large low sulfur coal deposits and tall stack power generation
facilities.

Most Utah power generation is coal-fired plants, such as the one in Parowan, with a small amount of hydroelectric and other facilities. The plants use so-called "dirty coal". The low sulfur coal deposits were in areas declared to be National Parks under the Clinton administration, and are therefore inaccessible for mining. The general consensus is that this was done in trade for the campaign contributions from China which were funneled through the Buddhist temple in San Francisco. At the time it was quite a scandal, and the money got given back by the campaign, but the National Park designation remains.

To tax local consumption seems at odds with a net exporter.
Further is there a power export tax.

There isn't an export tax; like telecommunications, however, there's a grid interconnect charge that occurs at the border, in a similar fashion to how natural gas piped into California power plants from Enron in Texas suddenly cost twice as much as soon as it hit the California border.

The reason for this is that interconnection charges are covered under the local Public Utility Commissions supporting each state "taking their cut", while a tax, rather than a fee, imposed as a state border, would be a violation of the Interstate Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution. A fee doesn't have that "problem".

I also wonder about hazards natural and man made in this area.

The area has one of the largest production and storage facilities associated
with rocket fuel. Mostly relocated from southern Nevada after the big
blast south of Vegas.

Morton Thiokol has always been a rocket production facility. The U.S. "SRAM" or "Standard Missile" has been produced there, and the need for the O-Ring joints in the SRBs that resulted in the Challenger disaster were there to deal with the fact that there is a curve in the railroad tracks on the way out of the production facility. There was enough leeway to ship SRAMs out through the gap, but not enough to ship complete SRBs without segmenting them. My ex brother in law used to inspect the segments by being lowered into the things on a winch.

This is largely not an issue any more: we aren't flying shuttles, and the U.S. pretty much doesn't have any useful launch capability any more anyway, which means there's no real fuel production there for non-military rockets, and all of those are solid fueled anyway.

The area has some earthquake risks. A major quake zone "Intermountain
Seismic Belt" runs through the area. It is unclear if there is a modern risk
but when I lived there and looked into the topic I was concerned and put
together my first quake bug out kit.

This is the "everyone lives in the most sincere pumpkin patch" effect, otherwise known as "The Great Pumpkin" effect. It has to do with everyone knowing that they are the biggest target for natural disasters, terrorist attacks, asteroid strikes, and alien invasions, because they are the most important people on the planet, so everyone else must agree they are the most important people on the planet.

It's the same reason that San Francisco wanted so much anti-terror funding sent to them "to protect The Golden Gate Bridge from terrorists" -- like the 9/11 terrorists actually cared about anything but financial and military/government targets. The Golden Gate isn't a military target, and no one cares about it, except to not put up jump fencing to make it the ugliest bridge in the U.S. to prevent people who want to off themselves from offing themselves using the bridge, and forcing them to choose a different bridge/venue instead. The biggest proponent of the uglification of The Golden Gate is someone who tried to off himself by jumping from it, and more or less had an epiphany that he didn't actually want to off himself while he was on the way down - and happened to be a rare survivor of the jump.

Ironically, the change from the objective Richter Scale to the more subjective Regional Scale has everyone believing they're having "major quakes", even when there isn't a single dish getting broken.

Lastly and most importantly is "GLOBAL WARMING" that could turn the Great
Salt Lake Desert into a great brine lake that laps up on the bounds of the
new facility. Electronics and brine do not play well together. I do not know
the elevation of the construction and if they site could be cut off but I do know
that many wells south of the area are salty as heck and also contain serious
levels of radon.

Yeah, you don't. You should check your facts about the location.

Perhaps the location is exactly correct.

Perhaps so; even with the 0.16% tax (less than 2/10ths of one percent of the cost of the facility) on the power for the abatement of the pollution caused by the use of high sulfur coal that wouldn't be necessary, had the federal government not placed the low sulfur coal off limits for mining.

Ya think?

Wow. (1)

houbou (1097327) | about a year ago | (#44462163)

the NSA doesn't want to pay taxes.. Go figure...

Awful Positions (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44462269)

Now we have a great dilemma for the government: Do we pay for our own surveillance or do we pay for our own surveillance? If they get a huge tax break, the people of Utah are subsidizing worldwide surveillance. If they don't, the NSA is pulling money from all taxpayers to fund it.

As a matter of principle, I think that they shouldn't be getting a tax break (especially at such high consumption, they should be paying more for that than the businesses and people that draw less), that will also lead to them not putting as much, if any, effort into reducing their consumption. But in taking this position in the frame of this particular debate, that means that I think they should be using my taxes to pay for their datacenter.

I think their datacenter shouldn't exist, but in forcing the issue this way, it frames it in such a way that its existence is a given. I don't like that.

Re:Awful Positions (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about a year ago | (#44462761)

especially at such high consumption

Why would you want to reward energy consumption, particular when the social benifits of the infrastructure in question is widely disputed?

I'm disappointed- (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44462603)

The NSA couldn't hack a smart meter? It'd be fun to watch the Serious Spooks vs. the Utah Gas & Electric Company's IT staff....

BOHICA, Utah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44462917)

Cowards - The facility was a few months from completion and they didn't have the balls not to exempt it from this power tax? Oh, wait, I forgot - NSA has so little money, the tax could have compromised our security and aided teh terrists.

The NSA didn't know anything about it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44463133)

For some reason I have a hard time believing that the NSA doesn't know about considering recent revelations.

AH! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44463197)

Could they have decided any other way?

So what? (2)

countach (534280) | about a year ago | (#44464371)

So what if they didn't know about it? I have to pay taxes all the time that are introduced and that I hitherto didn't know about, and might have made lots of different investment decisions had I known they were going to happen. But I've got to live with it. Boo hoo to the NSA cry babies.

State Taxes Feds (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44465355)

Can I tax the IRS on what they earn from me?

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