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Google-NASA Partnership Backlash

ScuttleMonkey posted about 9 years ago | from the everybody-wants-a-piece-of-the-pie dept.

Google 270

Morgalyn writes "Apparently having more jobs moving into the area isn't enough for Santa Clara County. They want some revenue from Google, and are peeved that they are avoiding paying property taxes by building on government land. According to a representative of the county, 'If public land is being used for private purposes, the tenants should be paying local property taxes... We have $30 million in unfunded retirement liabilities. We need the money.' They aren't getting the land for free according to NASA: 'Google will not save any money by building on our property. They have to pay full ground rent based on fair market value and all the municipal-like services we provide like police, fire and garbage.'"

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rasta (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13697799)

green fiend!

Public demand beats (2, Interesting)

eebra82 (907996) | about 9 years ago | (#13697800)

So what if the public demand is of bigger interest? In my opinion, Google brings stuff to people, stuff making your life just a bit easier. And free. NASA should endulge this.

Tempest in a Teapot (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13697801)

What a petty, insignificant story... some local politician in some municipality whines about not getting property taxes when they're not supposed to be paid in the first place, and because GOOGLE is involved it's put on our beloved techno-news site. Ah well, it's Sunday.

I'm looking forward to the Google Operating System (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13697803)

Linux is *not* user friendly, and until it is linux will stay with >1% marketshare.

Take installation. Linux zealots are now saying "oh installing is so easy, just do apt-get install package or emerge package": Yes, because typing in "apt-get" or "emerge" makes so much more sense to new users than double-clicking an icon that says "setup".

Linux zealots are far too forgiving when judging the difficultly of Linux configuration issues and far too harsh when judging the difficulty of Windows configuration issues. Example comments:

User: "How do I get Quake 3 to run in Linux?"
Zealot: "Oh that's easy! If you have Redhat, you have to download quake_3_rh_8_i686_010203_glibc.bin, then do chmod +x on the file. Then you have to su to root, make sure you type export LD_ASSUME_KERNEL=2.2.5 but ONLY if you have that latest libc6 installed. If you don't, don't set that environment variable or the installer will dump core. Before you run the installer, make sure you have the GL drivers for X installed. Get them at [some obscure web address], chmod +x the binary, then run it, but make sure you have at least 10MB free in /tmp or the installer will dump core. After the installer is done, edit /etc/X11/XF86Config and add a section called "GL" and put "driver nv" in it. Make sure you have the latest version of X and Linux kernel 2.6 or else X will segfault when you start. OK, run the Quake 3 installer and make sure you set the proper group and setuid permissions on quake3.bin. If you want sound, look here [link to another obscure web site], which is a short HOWTO on how to get sound in Quake 3. That's all there is to it!"

User: "How do I get Quake 3 to run in Windows?"
Zealot: "Oh God, I had to install Quake 3 in Windoze for some lamer friend of mine! God, what a fucking mess! I put in the CD and it took about 3 minutes to copy everything, and then I had to reboot the fucking computer! Jesus Christ! What a retarded operating system!"

So, I guess the point I'm trying to make is that what seems easy and natural to Linux geeks is definitely not what regular people consider easy and natural. Hence, the preference towards Windows.

Re:I'm looking forward to the Google Operating Sys (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13697872)

Linux is *not* user friendly, and until it is linux will stay with >1% marketshare.
So, when it is user friendly, it will have <1% marketshare?

MOD PARENT DUPE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13698106)


Original comment here [slashdot.org] .

And by the way, Taco can have his Zonk [slashdot.org] . Just put TMM up there too.

--
Trolling all trolls since 2001.

Alternative. (4, Funny)

HugePedlar (900427) | about 9 years ago | (#13697805)

I suppose if they find government land tax too much of a burden they could always try here: http://www.lunarintl.com/ [lunarintl.com]

Excellent services... (1)

ballarena (320137) | about 9 years ago | (#13697806)

Police, I can understand, but Im not sure Id be willing to pay for "services" like fire and garbage ;)

Re:Excellent services... (1, Funny)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about 9 years ago | (#13697840)

sure Id be willing to pay for "services" like fire and garbage

That NASA garbage service must be pretty high tech.

Re:Excellent services... (0)

doubledoh (864468) | about 9 years ago | (#13697911)

So what do you do with your garbage then?

You're not one of those packrats that has to navigate through pillars of newspapers and dustmite cities because you can't throw anything away are you?

shutter.

Oh, and since you aren't willing to pay for a fireman to rescue you when your garbage laden time-bomb of an apartment goes up in flames, at least the police will be able to come by and write you up for criminal negligence and reckless endangerment of the public health.

Re:Excellent services... (1)

FluffyWithTeeth (890188) | about 9 years ago | (#13697917)

*WHOOSH*

Re:Excellent services... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13697946)

Google just called. They said even they can't find your humor.

Re:Excellent services... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13697947)

Your user name matches your astutness.

Re:Excellent services... (1)

dcw3 (649211) | about 9 years ago | (#13697988)

It's obvious to me that the three previous replies to your post have sugarcoated it a bit. The grandparent was a joke...turn in your geek card now.

Re:Excellent services... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13698157)

The city of Regina, Saskatchewan just had a month long city workers strike, (no garbage pickup among other things) if you saw what happened there you would pay for garbage pickup too.

Re:Excellent services... (1)

nnet (20306) | about 9 years ago | (#13698399)

*NEWSFLASH* "Regina - CP A rash of broken limbs has befallen this small Saskatchewan town due to frozen garbage not being picked up by its municipal workers. The workers have been on strike for a month, with no end in sight. Quoted one local yokel, "Muh wife done tripped over the dead sheep we had out front by the road for pickup, and broke her leg! Dang municipal workers!

With a ten month winter in its infancy, the frozen garbage won't decompose (or smell), so the municipal workers union won't have the sympathy of the electorate behind them while they try to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement."

So instead of (0)

pkvon (899533) | about 9 years ago | (#13697808)

... Santa Clara County, Nasa gets the money.
I think NASA should get the money. At least there is future in what they are doing!

Re:So instead of (1)

uncleFester (29998) | about 9 years ago | (#13697858)

hey, i like the sound of this. if i could pay nasa for utilities for my apartment instead of local government.. i'd be all over it. plus, the added bonus of having testing or launches in my backyard... :)

-'fester

Re:So instead of (2, Funny)

Chineseyes (691744) | about 9 years ago | (#13698191)

Yeah cause we all know the local taxes that go to pay for childrens education have nothing to do with Americas future.

Re:So instead of (1)

DARKFORCE123 (525408) | about 9 years ago | (#13698317)

And the obscene amount of taxes Americans have been paying for education has yielded excellent results. Right...... There is a solution for better education but saying more money is the easy solution without thinking about it properly.

Google Searching For Tax Break? (news article) (5, Informative)

Oh the Huge Manatee (919359) | about 9 years ago | (#13697814)

From this morning's San Jose Mercury News (URL: http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/12 798126.htm [mercurynews.com] )

Is Google's NASA campus a search for a tax break?

By Jessica Portner and Julie Patel, Mercury News

Just how sweet of a deal will Google get by building a major research park on a so-called federal enclave at Moffett Field that sits just beyond the reach of local tax assessors?

Depends on whom you ask and how you slice it.

NASA/Ames Research Center's Michael Marlaire bristles at the suggestion that his agency's planned partnership with Google, unveiled last week, would provide a tax shelter for the Mountain View-based Internet giant.

Terms of the deal are in the works, but Marlaire said Friday that Google would help build the 1 million-square-foot project, upgrade infrastructure, pay fair-market rent and shell out about $4.5 million a year to NASA/Ames for services, such as fire, police, sewage and other utilities.

``I don't want people to think they are coming here for a sweetheart deal. That is not what is happening,'' said Marlaire, Ames' director of external relations. ``Google isn't going to save a dime for coming here.''

The company might pay less, however, if it builds services that other Ames tenants, such as universities and small tech start-ups, could use, he said.

Still, some local officials, such as Santa Clara County tax assessor Larry Stone, say such a setup would cost local taxing bodies like schools, nearby cities and the county up to $3 million in annual property tax revenue.

Google pays about $850,000 in annual property taxes on the 34-acre site it leases in Mountain View for its world headquarters, Stone said. The company would escape paying local property taxes by building its research center and up to 2,000 homes in NASA's research park, which sits on part of the former military base that local taxing bodies can't touch. State and local tax rules are invalid on land classified as a federal enclave.

Bustling neighborhood

NASA/Ames envisions a bustling 95-acre neighborhood to sprout up around the park -- complete with shops, cafes and parks -- where the chatter on the street is nanotechnology and supercomputers. Like a McDonald's and other shops already located on Moffett Field, those retailers also would probably be off-limits for local taxes, Stone said.

NASA has already prepared a 900-page environmental impact report that paves the way for the project. Mountain View officials will watch closely from the city right outside NASA/Ames' gates. But they won't have much say over the process, which the federal government alone controls and laid out in a 2002 study on the proposed mega-R&D campus.

Bayfront property

NASA's review looked at environmental impacts on air, land, water, traffic and storm water, as well as other issues. It calls for on-site housing and bike paths to reduce congestion and pollution, but environmentalists worry that NASA will overlook many of the ecological and traffic issues on the sensitive bayfront property.

``Nothing against Google, but this plan would have significant impacts,'' said Lenny Siegel, executive director of the Center for Public Environmental Oversight.

Mike Braukus, a spokesman at NASA headquarters in Washington, said the Google project appears to be the biggest of its kind for NASA, whose leaders say they want to transform Ames into something akin to a Silicon Valley company. The two sides have set a February deadline to arrive at a final deal.

Google would join university research groups and small start-ups that also rent space from Ames. Most pay about $4.50 per square foot a year for police, fire and other services.

Randy Nickel, the founder of Nxar, a start-up software company that rents a tiny workspace of a few hundred square feet at Ames, said his company's one-year lease -- which includes the cost of janitorial services, utilities, electricity and heat -- comes to about $700 a month.

Thousands of for-profit companies -- mining, oil, timber, ranching, restaurant and hotels -- operate on federal land tax-free across the country, but most compete for contracts and provide the federal government with royalties, fees or special taxes, said Tina Kreisher, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of the Interior.

In certain cases, the federal government makes payments to counties that have a significant amount of federal land in exchange for the dearth of property taxes the counties receive, Kreisher said.

For example, Santa Clara County receives about $2,700 for 1,100 acres of federal land within its borders; San Diego County, which is peppered with military bases, receives $629,000 for 480,000 acres, she said.

Not all public land is exempt from local taxes. Private companies that operate on public land usually pay a special tax -- called a possessory interest tax -- to local entities. For instance, the San Jose Sharks, which operate out of the city of San Jose's HP Pavilion, paid $322,000 in possessory interest tax on top of rent last year, said Scott Johnson, the city of San Jose's finance director. But federal enclaves are different.

`A pimple'

Stone said the lost revenue from the Google project is ``a pimple'' in the larger scheme of things. Still, Stone -- who has worked on Democratic fundraisers with Google CEO Eric Schmidt -- said he plans to urge Google officials to pitch in to help pay for impacts outside of the research park, such as upgrades to schools, roads and other infrastructure. If his appeal doesn't work, Stone said, he will look for ways to challenge a federal law that establishes certain former military facilities as federal enclaves, which are not subject to local levies.

Stone also said the deal isn't fair to Google's competitors.

``The classic example is Yahoo,'' said Stone, referring to Yahoo's nearby Sunnyvale campus. ``The two companies will be right across the runway from each other, they'll see each other and yet Google will have a competitive advantage.''

Local school districts don't have much to gain from the Google development either, except for possibly more students.

Last year, the Mountain View-Whisman School District received about $100,000 in federal impact aid for 31 students who lived in military housing within the district, said Rebecca Wright, the district's chief financial officer. The district wouldn't receive additional federal funds if the Google development pumps more students into its schools because those students aren't from military families. Still, the district would receive a one-time fee from developers as well as additional state funding per child -- although Google would not be forced to contribute.

Even so, Carl Guardino, president of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, said a Google campus at Ames would be an excellent boon to the community -- especially since the valley has lost nearly 200,000 jobs in recent years.

`Embrace it'

``Instead of approaching with a clenched fist, we should embrace it with open arms,'' said Guardino, who added that Google employees would add sales and sales tax into the local economy.

Mountain View Mayor Matt Neely also said he was thrilled at the chance that Google would expand, even if it means that the city won't benefit in property tax revenue.

``The taxes are substantial, but it's just a piece of the puzzle,'' he said. ``The millions lost by the county could have been hundreds of millions if they built in Oregon or Texas.''

Re:Google Searching For Tax Break? (news article) (2, Interesting)

Zenki (31868) | about 9 years ago | (#13697862)

I guess it depends on who really benefits.

I think in most cases, property taxes are collected by the local municipality, and it's really their primary form of income.

Sales tax is usually state-wide. So all that added commercial activity in the area is going to California, not the local municipal governments.

Paying NASA is just paying NASA.

The city is now going to have to deal with issues such as increased traffic, upgrading public utilities, etc., and they're not going to get the money to handle it. I'm not surprised that they are ticked off at this.

Google is winning big, and at the expense of the local people.

Re:Google Searching For Tax Break? (news article) (4, Insightful)

surprise_audit (575743) | about 9 years ago | (#13697893)

Still, some local officials, such as Santa Clara County tax assessor Larry Stone, say such a setup would cost local taxing bodies like schools, nearby cities and the county up to $3 million in annual property tax revenue.

Now, see, that's the bit I have trouble with - it's going to cost Santa Clara $3M?? The land/buildings/whatever wasn't being used anyway, right?? If NASA went out and acquired the land specifically to rent it to Google, then OK, I'd see their point. If NASA's owned the land for a long time, it's entirely up to them who uses it.

Even if Google was going to give up some other property in Santa Clara county to make this move, that other property would still exist and garner property taxes for the county.

WAh, wah, wah, bitch, whine, moan. We have a right to that money. It's ours, and Google's stealing it by using NASA property. Moan, bitch whine.

Re:Google Searching For Tax Break? (news article) (3, Insightful)

aussie_a (778472) | about 9 years ago | (#13698017)

it's going to cost Santa Clara $3M??

Looks like the government's caught onto the business use of "cost."

"By going open-source, Linux users are costing Microsoft untold millions. They should all be forced to pay for a Windows license."

Unfortunately, Microsoft has made good headway in making Linux users pay the Microsoft tax.

Re:Google Searching For Tax Break? (news article) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13698054)

WAh, wah, wah, bitch, whine, moan. We have a right to that money. It's ours, and Google's stealing it by using NASA property. Moan, bitch whine.

You're surprised that a state full of Democrats is acting like, um, a state full of Democrats?

Re:Google Searching For Tax Break? (news article) (1)

forand (530402) | about 9 years ago | (#13698312)

Try getting to NASA's research center without going through Santa Clara. Having increased traffic on roads costs money to maintain. Money they usually get from property tax.

As well how do you think NASA deals with sewage, water, garbage, etc? They have a contract with the nearest municipality to: attach to their water system, their sewage system, and probably dump on their dump. All of these things will be used to a much greater extent than was ever envisioned with just NASA on the property.

Just because you don't see the costs clearly doesn't mean they aren't there.

Re:Google Searching For Tax Break? (news article) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13698346)

There will also be homes built on the NASA property, so the workers wont really need to leave the research park except to shop. Therefore the increase to road traffic will be minimal durring peak driving times.

Also,if NASA has a contract to use a local municipality's resources, then the local municapality is getting paid for such use. These contracts rairly are for X number of dollars per year, but more often for X amount of use. Therefore, if NASA does increase use, the local municipality will get more money.

Re:Google Searching For Tax Break? (news article) (2, Insightful)

ameline (771895) | about 9 years ago | (#13698038)

The municipality is whining that they have unfunded pension liabilities - sounds like they are not competent to manage their financial affairs, and they're whining and trying to shift the blame. NASA is making it clear that google is paying them for for services that the minicipality would otherwise provide. Why should google pay twice, once to NASA and once to the municipality?

Re:Google Searching For Tax Break? (news article) (1)

necro81 (917438) | about 9 years ago | (#13698170)

Still, some local officials, such as Santa Clara County tax assessor Larry Stone, say such a setup would cost local taxing bodies like schools, nearby cities and the county up to $3 million in annual property tax revenue.

It can't really be costing the local taxing bodies much if they aren't already collecting those taxes. I could see this as an argument if Google somehow worked out a deal where they build the new facility, paid full local taxes for a few years, then worked out a sweetheart deal to then have the thing declared part of a federal enclave.

In short, can you lose something that you don't already have?

Garbage ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13697824)

'All the municipal-like services we provide like police, fire and garbage.'
Police is nice, fire could come in handy too, but garbage, who needs that ?

Complaint rings a little hollow (3, Insightful)

ScentCone (795499) | about 9 years ago | (#13697842)

First, there are all sorts of government facilities (or, "public land", per the article) in/on which private companies ply their trades and make money. Every company with contractors present on an Air Force base is using a footprint there to do their private-sector business. There are whole buildings in federal campus-type areas, or large swaths of office space essentially subletted to private companies so that those companies can do what it is the taxpayers are paying them to do for the agency that's hired them. This is hardly new.

Further, most towns with any sort of federal activity would be delighted to hear that a bunch of high-end nerds from Google were moving in. It's not like they (the Google people) are going to live on the public property. These people are going to be buying coffee at Starbucks, eating out at restaurants, buying their kids' school supplies, etc., and that's all economic activity for the local communities.

It's a shame that the locals have such a huge unfunded retirement liability (um... I suspect there's a little more to that story than gambling that someday Google would move in and pay a lot of property taxes, and darn, it didn't work out), but there's another way to look at this. Google may not even have lined this gig up if they'd have to had built on private land and passed all of that expense, through the contract, on to NASA as a higher cost. Even if the deal had still gone through, it just would have been a bigger tab for the feds (meaning all of the rest of us) or less for NASA to spend on other things. In the meantime, only the locals get the other local economic benefits of having those new G-men/women moving into the area.

Sorry, but I smell a grasping local government that has just won the demographic lottery of having this happen in their area at all, and want to grab some more cash out of the deal to make up for what sounds like retirement fund planning sins of the past. Personally, I'd welcome a larger Google Presence in my area - it would raise the local IQ average by a couple of points, and make the area that much more attractive to other tech ventures... no matter which square feet of what bit of (unused!) federal property is being used to house the activity.

Re:Complaint rings a little hollow (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | about 9 years ago | (#13697877)

> It's not like they (the Google people) are going to live on the public property.

The company would escape paying local property taxes by building its research center and up to 2,000 homes in NASA's research park,

2000 homes on Ames -- RTFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13697880)

If the Google people aren't going to "live" on the NASA/Ames property, why are they building 2000 homes on it?

Re:Complaint rings a little hollow (1)

dnoyeb (547705) | about 9 years ago | (#13697907)

This is a lame excuse. With your argument no businesses should pay taxes since they bring people and people pay for lots of other things the community will benefit from.

Its wrong because its not balanced. Its always hard to argue against stuff like this because businesses shouldn't pay taxes at all. Were always put into the position of arguing for taxes out of fairness because we the people pay them and are tired of special treatment for businesses. But we shouldn't pay them either. I wonder if google employees on this property will be paying taxes (if the local community has pay tax)

Ignorance rules this earth (2, Interesting)

m0llusk (789903) | about 9 years ago | (#13697992)

This comment is completely ignorant of the realities of what is going on. The Moffet complex recently had most federal functions taken away which is why the land is being used now for other purposes. Google grew in the valley and would almost certainly put most of its expansion in the valley, so there is none of this luring business with tax incentives junk that usually goes on. Businesses themselves have been campaining for bigger freeways and more light rail such as recently installed in this location, so instead of making up junk about grasping local governments it would make more sense to try and deal with the reality of business and government working together to understand community needs and pay for them together. The idea behind the revitalization of Moffet was to bring in valued institutions that the public can get value from such as the new Carnegie Mellon campus which is a center for learning and research, not tax-free profits. This comment is based on a thorough misunderstanding of local history, politics, services, and commercial activity in this area.

Re:Complaint rings a little hollow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13698088)

Every company with contractors present on an Air Force base is using a footprint there to do their private-sector business.

So? They shouldn't. "Do no evil" --- isn'that the motto?

Why does one class of people, a class that you correctly point out is less educated and less well-off, pay for municipal services, while the upper classes do not?

And because they don't pay taxes, they will also be less likely to participate in local government, because it's not really their local government. Again, as you correctly point out, it looks like the local government could use a little help. They way this works, or at least supposed to work, you see, is government of the people, by the people, for the people. Well, how does that work, exactly, if all the well off folks have no reason to participate at all?

Sorry, but quite frankly, you're an ass. You're an ass because you argument essentially reduces to "poor people should be so lucky to have nice rich neighbors like that to buy the coffee they make." In your words, it will "raise the local IQ average by a couple of points." Go screw, fuckwit.

Re:Complaint rings a little hollow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13698121)

Why does one class of people, a class that you correctly point out is less educated and less well-off, pay for municipal services, while the upper classes do not?

Maybe because they're the ones that use them?

Do you think Bill Gates uses the public schools, public transportation, or uses the local police for security?

Typical liberal parasite, aren't you?

Re:Complaint rings a little hollow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13698271)

They way this works, or at least supposed to work, you see, is government of the people, by the people, for the people.

The system DID work, WHO do you suppose voted in those politicians? Yup, the PEOPLE that want to KEEP their jobs.

Lets face it, American greed will always trump liberalism/socialism. Americans didnt learn from the last Depression, nor is it likely they'll learn from the next one, and it WILL come.

Backlash? (0)

Nuclear Elephant (700938) | about 9 years ago | (#13697847)

Oh, I thought this was going to be an article citing people's backlash about the large quantities of dupes on this subject.

Benefit and loss? (4, Interesting)

plnrtrvlr (557800) | about 9 years ago | (#13697860)

OK, so Google isn't locating it new venture on public property, and the article seems to indicate that it wont be using any public services It is unclear (by the article) who will be providing actual sewage services, though it does state that Google will have to construct them. Has anyone in the county bothered to do a benefit and loss comparison with what remains? How many new employees will be purchasing fuel, lunches, snack food, stopping for groceries on their way home, paying sales taxes as they do? How many people will relocate to the area and build new homes, paying property taxes and school taxes? How many new jobs will be created in the service economy of the area to support these people working and moving to the area? Here in upstate NY it would be afairly safe bet that most any town/county would welcome an arrangement where a large company movs to the area, doesn't consume services and so doesn't pay for them, but adds significantly to the local tax base in terms of jobs and consumption. Think about it, If it is such a terrible deal for the area, then why would they even want the Ames research facility there inthe first place? Why would any town, county or state want any government installation located within their borders? Most places with a military base near them shudder at the thought of a base closing, and it's because such bases contribute greatly to the local economy without adding to the service load. Furthermore, most places meter such services as water with a built in assumption of "what goes in must come out" and bills the water and sewer together based upon that assumption. Somebody needs to get their facts together as to what new jobs will be created and do a side by side benefit and loss comparison before they start screaming about the lack of tax revenue. One million square feet of development could easily employ enough new people to more than make up for the property tax loss.

Politicians are the same everywhere (3, Interesting)

Morgaine (4316) | about 9 years ago | (#13697871)

They want power, by having people and companies dependent on local infrastructure.

And they want money through taxes, which equates to power for them to implement whatever *they* want. The near-zero regard that politicians have for the wishes of the people who elected them is almost universal.

I hope Google tell them to take a running jump.

The issue of Google not contributing to the building of extra transport infrastructure for 4000 jobs is easily handled, and it's not just specific to Google. All large corporations should be expected to make good use of teleworking and office hot-desking wherever it is desired by the workforce and feasible in the business, as it certainly is in IT. In a networked age, a company's whole IT staff driving in at 9am and home at 5pm is just plain nuts.

Re:Politicians are the same everywhere (3, Funny)

layer3switch (783864) | about 9 years ago | (#13697890)

ok.. you work in IT department, when is the last time you drove in at 9 AM and drove home at 5 PM? I work in IT department and I only heard of such myth by my parents back in 1960's.

Re:Politicians are the same everywhere (1)

RWerp (798951) | about 9 years ago | (#13697937)

I'm not an IT professional, but I also do work which requires a lot of thinking: I do research in physics. I work 8 hours a day, period. Not a minute more, unless something seems captures me very strong and/or I have a deadline very near. I find I'm as productive as if I were spending 10 or more hours a day on work.

Human brain cannot be forced to work equally good for abritrarily long period. People who think they'll do more work by spending all day at work, are either doing mechanical tasks or confusing themselves.

Re:Politicians are the same everywhere (1)

layer3switch (783864) | about 9 years ago | (#13698156)

Well, IT staffs are like doctors in some sense. We are oncall 24/7 on rotation, and until we get seniroity, we do overtime on daily basis just like residents in hospital. Not all work relates to mental thinking, but none the less, the work frequently requires it to be done during off-office-hours. Otherwise cronjob and scripting is your best friend.

Definitely not a 9 to 5 job...

Re:Politicians are the same everywhere (1)

Jedi Alec (258881) | about 9 years ago | (#13698292)

I don't know why, but your post rendered a geek version of ER in my head, where George Clooney scrambles out of bed at midnight to go and fix a critical server...

Clear!

God, the horror...

Re:Politicians are the same everywhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13698288)

That is assuming you have a single task to complete.

The issue facing many IT workers is the deluge of work and shorthanded working conditions. It's not that some problem may be figured out in 14 hours instead of 8. It's that router in Fresno may take an hour, that circuit to Lousiville is flapping may take 3 to get everyone cordinated and a change control entered. That server that negotiated half duplex and is running like a wet dog takes some time. Ohh and by the way, this new app they just purchased is running very very slow. They are sure its a network problem. 2 hours of sniffer trace files later to show that a SELECT goes out only to wait 400ms for returned rows is happening repeatedly and they need to tune the database. Some firewall rule needs to be added, blah blah blah. People are not working extra hours because they are confused, they are just trying to keep up with a steady stream of new crap being added on the one they already have.

Re:Politicians are the same everywhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13698390)

Human brain cannot be forced to work equally good for abritrarily long period.
Yes. Apparently the part of the brain that composes English sentences starts to peter out at the start of the second paragraph.

Re:Politicians are the same everywhere (1)

dougmc (70836) | about 9 years ago | (#13698323)

you work in IT department, when is the last time you drove in at 9 AM and drove home at 5 PM? I work in IT department and I only heard of such myth by my parents back in 1960's.
Odd. I worked in an IT department, and for the most part, I worked 8 hour days, though it was more 10a-6p because I liked to sleep in (that wasn't your point, was it?). Sure, I might occasionally have to do stuff outside of those hours, but it was the exception rather than the rule.

This was even the case when I was the entire IT department ...

It all depends on the job, I guess. Certainly, IT doesn't doesn't mean `lots of overtime' substantially more than other professions ...

Pay up, Biatch~! (3, Funny)

layer3switch (783864) | about 9 years ago | (#13697876)

"We have $30 million in unfunded retirement liabilities. We need the money."

So when local government/state government fail to meet the obligation to its citizens, wait until Google land on your town and milk it for what it's worth?

Oh, I can see it now... "Eric Schmidt for Mayor!"

Re:Pay up, Biatch~! (2, Insightful)

ZoneGray (168419) | about 9 years ago | (#13698197)

Politicians see money, politicians want money.

Shucks, I have a couple hundred thousand dollars in unfunded retirement needs, but I sure as hell don't expect Google to give it to me. Their search engine might help me earn it, though.

Re:Pay up, Biatch~! (1)

donutz (195717) | about 9 years ago | (#13698316)

"We have $30 million in unfunded retirement liabilities. We need the money."

Wouldn't it be nice if government considered things like this before they promised the money to someone else? Good thing the city didn't promise the money to loan sharks. Or maybe by the tone of that statement, they actually did...

Taxes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13697879)

Why do federal, state and city govs spend money they don't have then use it as a reason to tax the crap out of us!?

Re:Taxes (1)

Mikkeles (698461) | about 9 years ago | (#13697977)

'Why do federal, state and city govs spend money they don't have then use it as a reason to tax the crap out of us!?'

Because people want stuff NOW and will happily vote for politicians who will promise it to them.

I find the partnership itself funny. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13697881)

Sure, google has done a great job at making a nice search engine and a few other goodies, but now we're talking about them working with Nasa, a governmental agency, to produce better tech.

Is it just me or does anyone else think this is a bad idea? We're talking about the same company that works with the chinese government to the internet here, and don't believe for a minute if china started telling google they wanted them out that google wouldn't start handing over info on what nasa is doing to the chinese.

And what are they going to use the goodies coming out of this for? You don't just do something like this without a plan.

Poor Fiscal Management... (1)

TheIndifferentiate (914096) | about 9 years ago | (#13697886)

Is not a compelling argument. Especially from a municipality. I doubt the state of California could squeeze any taxes out of Google/Nasa over this deal.

This is how the system works (4, Informative)

putko (753330) | about 9 years ago | (#13697894)

This is how the system in the USA works. The idea is that local communities can't tax the Feds or impose regulations on them. Otherwise they clearly would, and it would lead to chaos. E.g. the City of Berkeley would tax the hell out of the Feds, until they agreed to make the whole country a nuclear free zone, or cut off all business with Myanmar (Burma). That's how things went after the Revolution and until the formation of the United States -- there was terrible fights like this between states and the feds.

So the feds have property that they control. Then they turn around and provide this to private companies (typically contractors). Theoretically, because the contractors get the services for free, the market price of the rent should be higher. E.g. suppose a contractor has a choice: fed property or a neighboring plot that is otherwise the same, but comes with taxes. The market price of the fed property will be higher by the cost of the crap that the company avoids.

Google theoretically shouldn't save any money by doing its stuff on govt property: the price should be higher than on state-controlled or country-controller property, all things being equal.

Onen neat place to see this is the NV/CA border on Lake Tahoe. The same pile on the NV side costs more, because taxes are lower.

So the "problem" is due to the law, not Google. Unless they get that property for below-market costs (perhaps due to corruption), there's nothing awful going on here. Perhaps you think we need to change our constitution to make it possible for states to tax the feds, but that's another issue, and it doens't involve Google.

Re:This is how the system works (1)

dougmc (70836) | about 9 years ago | (#13698411)

The idea is that local communities can't tax the Feds or impose regulations on them. Otherwise they clearly would, and it would lead to chaos. E.g. the City of Berkeley would tax the hell out of the Feds, until they agreed to make the whole country a nuclear free zone, or cut off all business with Myanmar (Burma).
There's no fundamental reason why the local governments couldn't (if that was the law) tax federal land. Perhaps there would be some friction, but whenever one entity is charging another entity for something, there's always friction.

Ultimately, this is the case (where local communities don't get to tax the federal government) because that's the way the law has evolved. It could have evolved differently, but it didn't, and I don't see it changing now. (And it could go both ways. Perhaps the local government should be taxed by the IRS? :)

In any event, as are a we have $30 million in unfunded retirement liabilities. We need the money goes, um, too bad! You need new tax sources that the law currently explicitly denies you due to your own financial incompetence? Really, somebody needs to tell that guy never to speak to the press again.

So the "problem" is due to the law, not Google.
Obviously. Google may be taking advantage of the law, but that's what corporations do (and indiviuals, for that matter.)

Why is it Google's problem to fix? (4, Insightful)

whoda (569082) | about 9 years ago | (#13697897)

We have $30 million in unfunded retirement liabilities.
Piss poor planning on the part of Santa Clara county doesn't make this mine, yours, or Google's problem.

If they want/need more tax income, they can go and get Prop 13 repealled. Freezing a giant part of the states tax income, and then trying to increase services year after year is not a winning plan.

Re:Why is it Google's problem to fix? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13698391)

they can go and get Prop 13 repealled

Which, due to the real estate price bubble, would send about 75% of the stae's homeowners into bankruptcy, and result in armed insurrection with the California legislature dragged into the street and slaughtered.

Which would be a good thing, so maybe I hope they do that. ;-) Seriously, brutal, screaming death is too good for the filthy motherfuckers in the California statehouse.

I think the city SHOULD get the taxes (2, Interesting)

jmulvey (233344) | about 9 years ago | (#13697898)

The federal government, much less NASA, doesn't get local tax exemptions so that they can rent the land to corporations. And just because NASA is charging them "full price" rent, doesn't mean they will when some other corporation that makes the "right" campaign contributions will have to pay "full price".

This arrangement is not fair to the other corporations in the city, and it's not what federal tax exemptions were designed for.

Re:I think the city SHOULD get the taxes (1)

cbelle13013 (812401) | about 9 years ago | (#13698140)

What were they designed for?

Completely Ridiculous (2, Insightful)

dawhippersnapper (861941) | about 9 years ago | (#13697900)

They are paying the money for the services that tax money would go to, I say they shouldn't HAVE to pay taxes. We should learn from research facilities like CERN, building an environment like this IS the way to go, if anything the government should be PAYing Google to move their research facilities there.

Man, that really burns my arse (3, Insightful)

WetSpot (874382) | about 9 years ago | (#13697909)

When public entities whine that they don't have enough money to pay for everything they want to have, and they need more. Especially, when it's thosedamn capitalists who aren't paying enough. errrrgghh!

I don't have enough money for everything I would like, either. As a result, I match my spending with my real income. Perhaps the Santa Clara County official needs to learn the concept of Opportunity Cost [wikipedia.org] before they whine about their productive citizens not paying enough!

Google Roads (1)

meehawl (73285) | about 9 years ago | (#13698062)

Especially, when it's those damn capitalists who aren't paying enough. errrrgghh!

Really? Well then, let's see Google get into the business of building and maintaining roads, providing fire and public safety, and doing local health and zoning operatings.

A comment on the tone of the article (2, Insightful)

RWerp (798951) | about 9 years ago | (#13697941)

Imagine such article published on Slashdot:

"Apparently having more jobs moving into the area isn't enough for Redmond. They want some revenue from Microsoft, and are peeved that they are avoiding paying property taxes by building on government land. According to a representative of the county, 'If public land is being used for private purposes, the tenants should be paying local property taxes... We have $30 million in unfunded retirement liabilities. We need the money.' They aren't getting the land for free according to NASA: 'Microsoft will not save any money by building on our property. They have to pay full ground rent based on fair market value and all the municipal-like services we provide like police, fire and garbage.'"

Can you imagine that? Because I can't. Slashdot has become a Mouth of Google.

Re:A comment on the tone of the article (2, Insightful)

layer3switch (783864) | about 9 years ago | (#13698048)

Good point, but the difference here is that Microsoft can make up for the tax loss by increasing or "extoring" local government's OS/server license cost at expense of tax payer's money.

Either way, it's not about MS or Google. It's about local government officials looking at their own interests in short sighted manor with disregards to their obligatory responsibility to citizens and what they represent.

Re:A comment on the tone of the article (1)

RWerp (798951) | about 9 years ago | (#13698097)

"Good point, but the difference here is that Microsoft can make up for the tax loss by increasing or "extoring" local government's OS/server license cost at expense of tax payer's money."

I fail to follow the logic. It's OK to rob a monopolist because he can compensate for it?

Re:A comment on the tone of the article (1)

layer3switch (783864) | about 9 years ago | (#13698267)

That was not my reasoning to begin with. If there ever wasn't indifference, I simply would understand the attitude which you are implying on people being bias toward Microsoft.

If anyone is mistaken, it wasn't because of my logic. Certainly I didn't imply that it's OK to rob from monopolist and Microsoft compensating for it at tax payer's expense. I was trying to explain or at least try to understand why one would be bias toward Microsoft.

Either way, I don't think I can justify what you are implying, because Microsoft isn't Google, and plenty of people have many reason to be pissed off at Microsoft.

Even if ./ers are bias toward Microsoft or Google or IBM or any company, the fact doesn't change. Those companies are helping local economy one way or the other. That is my point.

Silly me (1)

Azeron (797264) | about 9 years ago | (#13697942)

I thought Googles Competitive Advantage was superior search technology, not how much taxes they pay. Who would have thought that local property taxes played such a big part in destroying Yahoo.

This should be easily answered... (1)

Jugalator (259273) | about 9 years ago | (#13697945)

Are companies forced to pay up for building on government land through a deal with such an organization, or not?

I mean... This isn't (or rather shouldn't be IMHO) about whether they "want" or "need" Google's money or not.

The article makes it sound like there isn't something preventing Google from doing that, and in that case, stop bitching and try change the laws instead of Google.

"unfunded retirement liabilities"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13697986)

Oh, you mean that the retirements for government employees, whatever their position, was not adequately saved for? Oh, you mean you drank the kool-aid when the economy was strong, forgetting the lessons of good judgement?

Maybe the employees you gave such generous, in amount and quantity, retirement benefits were ultimately not worth it, and you could not afford what you spent.

Maybe you gave away too many concessions in back-room deals.

Let's not forget that the areas in question have/had extremely high property values, with high occupation rates, extremely wealthy companies and people occupying them, for a *very long time now* and I am sure they would just hate to lose that revenue cash-cow.

Poor little, rich, local government.

poor Santa Clara county (1)

rtphokie (518490) | about 9 years ago | (#13697987)

The tax base in that area is so bad. Home prices are in such deep decline. A parking space goes for $2 million. Who will think of the politicians?

Re:poor Googleheads (1)

m0llusk (789903) | about 9 years ago | (#13698002)

Translation: Google is cool, so they should not have to pay taxes like others do.

I'm tempted to ask for a break too, but I'm not as cool as Google and I'm not really into freeloading either.

Re:poor Googleheads (1)

Rayaru (898516) | about 9 years ago | (#13698147)

Sure thing, when you are capable of partnering with NASA and funding and manging a 1 million square foot research facility, we'll give you a tax break too.

Re:poor Googleheads (1)

m0llusk (789903) | about 9 years ago | (#13698295)

Sure thing, when you are capable of partnering with NASA and funding and manging a 1 million square foot research facility, we'll give you a tax break too.

Wrong on many counts: You could not, I and other Silicon Valley business coalitions would fight against you much more strongly than you expect, and I personally would never except tax breaks of any kind for any enterprise I am have any influence over.

You have a lot to learn about how commerce actually works. Freeloaders are not welcome at any level, not even the highest levels. A lot of work and tax dollars went into securing that land and providing public transit. Doing all that for freeloaders was never part of the plan.

Re:poor Googleheads (1)

Rayaru (898516) | about 9 years ago | (#13698342)

A property that was being used for Federal research is now going to be used for.... Federal research. I fail to see the change in the status quo here.... except that there's now going to be a multi-billion dollar company (paying rent) helping to run the place. Who knows what sorts of innovation will come out of there? If we get one really useful, groundbreaking thing, then the tax break is worth it.

Question on the article... (4, Interesting)

tkrotchko (124118) | about 9 years ago | (#13697990)

If google is *renting* the building, how would they be liable for any special taxes related to coming to the county?

I get that by moving to a federal building on federal land they don't get money from the federal government for property tax.

But think of the alternative. Google rents some space from "Joe's Management Company". There still is no additional revenue from taxes. I'm not a tax expert, and I can't even spell "CPA", but this article seems to have a flawed premises.

Re:Question on the article... (1)

Mean_Nishka (543399) | about 9 years ago | (#13698124)

I'm not sure what the laws are at Google's new location, but here in Connecticut business property is taxed in two different ways.

First of course is the actual property itself (the land and the building) second is the assets the company owns. The building and land taxes are typically paid by the owner of the building and passed onto the tenant in their rent. The other property is billed directly to the tenant.

My business owns a building that is leased to a manufacturer of sporting equipment. We pay the tax on the building, he pays on his manufacturing machines, computers, forklifts, etc. I can see why the city is very interested in Google's arrival, I'm sure there are literally millions of dollars in computers being moved into that facility.

Kudos to NASA for being entrepreneurial and finding a tenant for an otherwise unused space. But the city also has a legitimate beef here. Google should pay its taxes just like every other business is expected to.

Really? (1)

tkrotchko (124118) | about 9 years ago | (#13698161)

"I'm sure there are literally millions of dollars in computers being moved into that facility."

I'm not so sure.

Google's paradigm is centralized computing, probably not within this facility. At best, they'll lease some office equipment, desks, etc. Seems to me there isn't going to be anything to tax.

Google's value is not in its physical assets, but in its people. I don't see anything for the county to tax here.

make a real case plz ca (1)

tehwebguy (860335) | about 9 years ago | (#13698014)

if google should legally pay the proper taxes, then sure go ahead.
but bringing up some issue of retirement funds that are lacking in
money has prety much nothing to do with anything. if they are unable
to deal with their own budgets, someone should be fired.

ok (1)

mr_tommy (619972) | about 9 years ago | (#13698018)

Right, so anyone else wondering if rent / land costs are one of the smallest parts of the google expense bill?

Sniff (1)

DarkEdgeX (212110) | about 9 years ago | (#13698061)

I always love the smell of greed in the morning!

It's all so confusing (4, Insightful)

Crixus (97721) | about 9 years ago | (#13698063)

Apparently it's OK to give Walmart tax-free access to land to build ugly stores with low-paying jobs, but it's not OK to do this?

Our system is incredible. People can't afford to pay their bills and taxes, and cities need the tax revenue.

This will all reach critical mass within the next 50 years, and it will be ugly.

Seriously... (1, Offtopic)

NicM (188290) | about 9 years ago | (#13698081)

...how about a Google section so only a few Google stories make it to the front page? Hardcore Google-watchers can go read it and the rest of us can be spared seeing so many uninteresting Google stories. I can't be the only one getting sick of seeing so many.

Re:Seriously... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13698217)

Yes, you are. Suck it up, or *gasp*, don't rtfa.

Lucas Did This As Well - Presidio (4, Informative)

meehawl (73285) | about 9 years ago | (#13698091)

Moving onto "federal" land to dodge local responsibilities is as old as the hills. Or last year, in fact, if you consider the relocation of the George Lucas Dark Empire into the federally owned Presidio in San Francisco. By doing this, Lucas manages to dodge paying local, state and city payroll taxes. Meanwhile, it gets to rent out around 200,000 square feet of its Presidio space. If it gets a high market rate of $30 per square foot this will bring in maybe $6 million a year -- $200,000 more than the rent Lucas will pay for the entire 23-acre lot. And of course, it then gets to dodge local and state taxes on rent profits as well. Swete deal for everyone except the citgizens of San Francisco.

Amazingly short-sighted. (1)

mcgroarty (633843) | about 9 years ago | (#13698123)

"Hey, whoah. You're creating a magnet to draw a ton more six-digit income workers and Google stock millionaires into our tax base. What's in it for us?"

Cry me a river! (1)

necro81 (917438) | about 9 years ago | (#13698142)

We have $30 million in unfunded retirement liabilities. We need the money.

This is one of the whiniest, most pedantic statements I've heard coming from a government official in a long time. That's really something, considering all the things officials seem to have to whine about these days. I agree with whoda, bad municipal planning is hardly a justification for going after Google for new tax revenue. There may be other, more justifiably reasons for doing so, but IANAL.

poor, POOR Santa Clara County (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13698168)

..."We have $30 million in unfunded retirement liabilities. We need the money."...

I read the article but fail to see how google is even remotely responsible for this county's fiscal mismanagement.

Like any business, strategic partnerships help cut costs, and boost output/revenue. Santa Clara County should be begging google not to move to NASA AMES by offering an even sweeter deal, but they couldn't. Suck it up Santa Clara County, its not googles fault you have unfunded retirement liabilities, and thinking you could suck THEM off to fix YOUR fiscal problems smacks of bad financial management. Perhaps the county needs to hold an inquiry as to WHY they have "$30 million in unfunded retirement liabilities" to begin with.

When businesses are looking for locations to setup operations/expand, potential land taxes/utility costs/etc are always factored in. Here's an example:

The state of Tennessee is not a Right To Work state, this permits employers to totally exploit workers by forcing mandatory overtime. This is a boon, especially to manufacturers, who can now increase daily production to make more money.

Two large companies have set up shop in the county I live in. They were given sweetheart deals for land and taxes. They increase employment in the area. While this is a good thing, I don't have reason to believe the county officials here have serious fiscal problems or mismanagement.

Whenever a municipal/county/state/federal gov starts complaining its not getting enough taxes from businesses, thats when the businesses start looking elsewhere to operate. Think about that.....

Not paying taxes is patriotic. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13698172)

I overheard a few of my fellow wealthies having this discussion.

They openly considered tax shelters, loopholes, and as many ways to get out of paying taxes as possible. These are people who can afford to pay taxes, no problem, but would just prefer to keep the money (most of the time, horde it and not spend)

When approached about the "moralistic" angle of not paying taxes, they instantly went into the historical context. The reason america was founded was because a bunch of rich, white men didnt want to pay their taxes.

Its very patriotic to not pay your taxes.

conflict of interest, anyone? (1)

argStyopa (232550) | about 9 years ago | (#13698220)

So let me see if I understand it - this is merely a more nakedly obvious example of the government which we empower to tax us, showing that its only concern is revenue.

Anyone see a conflict of interest there? Would you give your landlord the LEGAL power to not only set your rent, but compel you to pay it (and you have no real chance to evade it by moving elsewhere)?

Tangetially, this is the problem with an estate tax...personally, I have a serious issue with a government that directly PROFITS by the death of its citizens. Budget shortfall in WA? The gov't of the state could whack Bill Gates and watch the budget crisis disappear...

Cry me a river (5, Interesting)

hotspotbloc (767418) | about 9 years ago | (#13698227)

Greg Perry, a member of the Mountain View City Council, echoed that sentiment. "If public land is being used for private purposes, the tenants should be paying local property taxes," he said. "We have $30 million in unfunded retirement liabilities. We need the money."
Over the last few years the real estate prices in Mountain View have skyrocketed almost solely because of Google and their cash rich employees (like $2m USD for a nice three bedroom house that would cost ~$400k in a typical "farm belt" community of the US). As prices rises, surrounding values rise and real estate tax revenue rises (to a certain point). Mountain View is now enjoying a major cash influx but yet they want more like most other government entities.

The conflict echos of many past economic conflicts: Company A (the City of Mountain View) is well seasoned, controls the market and has become fat, lazy and leech-like from the lack of competition. While they do many good things they are unwilling to fix the major flaws that are bleeding them dry like, for example, a vastly overstaffed police department unwilling to cut a single position. Company B (Google) is the new upstart, flexible and lean, that is creating wealth for themselves and those that support them. The City of Mountain View has seen quite a few local businesses created to support Google and Google employees that generate millions of dollars each year in tax revenue.

It's a bit like the City of Cambridge, MA vs. MIT and that other school. While they do pay into the local coffers what would be a somewhat appropriate tax for their real estate the City still wants more. But what would Cambridge be like without them? How many local businesses with their high paying research jobs would be there without the talent these schools recruit? While these schools generate less direct tax revenue from their properties then their commercial counterparts they do generate, IMO, much more overall indirect tax revenue. Will MIT every move off of Mass. Ave. because of high taxes: doubtful. Google, on the other hand, could easily leave Mountain View for greener, and cheaper, pastures.

Like it or not "free market" forces can not be denied. If Mountain View becomes too rich for Google they will move elsewhere like so many other businesses and Mountain View will be left as a rotting shell like so many other US cities that have lost their major private employer. Be it to another city, state or county they will move. It's happened millions of times in the US since the early 1970's.

Here's my suggestion for Google employees: take one weekend and everything you buy locally buy with $2 bills. For those outside the US the $2 bill, while rarely used, is legal tender. $2 bills stand out and the massive influx of them will get noticed. Each $2 bill used that weekend is an advertisement for Google's economic force in the community. Those $2 bills will spread to many, many people that think they have no connection to Google. I suspect the media would latch on to the story too.

Google brings in a ton of money to Mountain View and IMO their positive economic impact needs to be taken into consideration when judging what their fair tax responsibility should be. City officials in Mountain View need to take a moment to imagine their city without Google and where they'd be.

Re:Cry me a river (1)

Scudsucker (17617) | about 9 years ago | (#13698367)

And more importantly, corporations have a god-given right not to pay taxes. It's the American Way!

Pay as you go like the rest of us (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13698246)

We have $30 million in unfunded retirement liabilities.

Sounds like the government having unfunded pension problems is admitting they are incompetent at managing money. Or more precisely don't believe in spending the money where they have commitments. So why give them more to waste?

Typical government, more akin with vultures fighting over a little rodent.

#1 search result on Google (1)

payndz (589033) | about 9 years ago | (#13698299)

We have $30 million in unfunded retirement liabilities. We need the money.

Enter 'Santa Clara County' into Google. See the #1 result:

"THAT'S NOT OUR FUCKING PROBLEM!"

Vote with your feet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13698327)

Dear Google, If Santa Clara doesn't appreciate you, move away.

Santa Clara needs the money? (1)

Loco3KGT (141999) | about 9 years ago | (#13698339)

"'If public land is being used for private purposes, the tenants should be paying local property taxes... We have $30 million in unfunded retirement liabilities."

Translation : We fucked up, we're going to try to make someone else pay for our mistake.

only in America... (2, Insightful)

Scudsucker (17617) | about 9 years ago | (#13698360)

...can a city complain about a corporation being exempt from taxes, and it's the city that's greedy. Seriously, if the rest of us have to suck it up an pay taxes, there's no reason whatsoever that a multi-billion dollar corporation can't do the same.

Re:only in America... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13698371)

Only in America can the government justifly levying additional taxes on an entity outside its jursidiction based on the governments desire to pay for its own reckless spending.
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