Recently, we pointed to a story suggesting that Google, like Microsoft in its early days, still has a thing or two to learn about dealing with politicians. Basically, the company used some pretty heavy-handed tactics when lobbying the state of North Carolina for tax incentives to build a new data center there. The company almost pulled out of the project after language in the initial bill clarified that the bill was intended to help Google. Now it's been revealed that the economy study performed to justify the bill was never completed. The critical question, which the study never addressed, is whether it makes sense for the state to offer three decades worth of tax breaks, with an estimated value of $250 million. All that they determined was that a $5 million job creation grant could lead to $45 million in state revenue. The real issue is not the tax breaks themselves; states frequently give companies incentives to locate there. But if Google is trying to ram through beneficial legislation in a manner that will anger many politicians and damage its "do no evil" reputation, the move could come back to haunt it.
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