Fair share of shady deals

By: - February 1, 2007 1:01 pm

google logoThe News & Observer reported today about the secret dealing Google had with the NC Legislature that ultimately got them tax breaks worth $89 million over 30 years.

Google tried to silence lawmakers and pushed — at times with a heavy hand — to influence legislation designed to bring the company to Caldwell County.

Lawmakers last year approved a measure eliminating sales tax on electricity and equipment used by Internet computer centers.

As work proceeded on the bill to remove much of its tax burden, Google threatened to end negotiations because legislative staff didn't write exactly what it wanted.

It bothers me that companies and legislators are striking deals in secret when we’re supposed to have a system of open government.  Adding to the insult was a report by CBS that

Google Inc.'s fourth-quarter profit nearly tripled amid another burst of breathtaking growth that enabled the online search leader to sprint past analyst expectations…

The Mountain View-based company said Wednesday it earned $1.03 billion, or $3.29 per cents per share, during the final three months of 2006.

Google obviously isn’t hurting for money so why can’t they pay their fair share of taxes? And why can’t our legislators stop making these questionable deals in secret?

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