Search Results for: lenoir

Lenoir Officials Defend $260 Million Tax Incentives to Google

It seems there’s been a lot more interest in the tax breaks to Google, since we learned the search engine could receive as much as $260 million in incentives for building in North Carolina.

Today, Lenoir and Caldwell County officials fight back against the critics, arguing why having Google build a data center is great for the local area.

“I truly believe that 80 percent of the people are tickled to death, and they are getting mad” about the criticism, Lenoir Mayor David Barlow said…”Where’s all the good talk of the millions and millions of dollars in payroll? Our people need to hear the good news,” he said.

And just because we keep hearing the $260m number, doesn’t mean that Lenoir will be worse off for having Google as a neighbor.

Despite Tax Incentives, Google Will be Good for Lenoir’s Economy

The New York Times (via CNET) has a great follow-up story on Google’s decision to build a server farm in Lenoir (Caldwell County), North Carolina.

While there’s been a lot of concerns raised about the size of the tax incentives and the secrecy surrounding the deal, it appears most locals – hard hit by the loss of the local furniture industry – welcome the arrival of Google.

Locals are also hitting back at detractors…

Local officials argue that [Google] will pay hundreds of thousands in franchise fees, sales taxes and payroll taxes, and that it has filled local hotels with construction workers, bought tons of stone and concrete, and hired security guards. Since the deal was announced, a former Winn-Dixie store, on the market for more than a year, has sold, and the town mall is under contract, officials said…”Here’s what I’ve asked people, too: what’s the disadvantage?” said David Barlow, the mayor. “What if they weren’t coming? Then we’d have 100 percent of nothing.”

Lenoir Officials Abandoned Economic Study of Google Tax Incentives

Wow, it’s going to be hard for Lenoir and Caldwell County officials to keep justifying their decision, to provide Google with 30 years of tax breaks, when they didn’t even finish an economic study to see if a data center would be beneficial or not.

Local officials ran a computer analysis that determined a state job-creation grant of almost $5 million would generate more than $45 million in state revenue over 12 years. But they didn’t study whether committing to three decades of tax breaks made economic sense. “Intuitively, the numbers showed it was a good deal,” Lenoir City Manager Lane Bailey said Wednesday.

Oh cool, because there’s nothing us taxpayers trust more than the intuition of our elected officials.

Hat-tip Techdirt.

Google Officially Selects Lenoir for Data Center

Hot off the press comes news that Google has officially selected Lenoir, in North Carolina, for the site of its $600 million data center.

Gov. Mike Easley announced Google has selected the Caldwell County location and will create around 210 new jobs.

“This company will provide hundreds of good-paying, knowledge-based jobs that North Carolina’s citizens want,” Easley said in a statement. “It will help reinvigorate an area hard hit by the loss of furniture and textile jobs with 21st century opportunities.”

Yay for North Carolina!

Hat-tip to Sheila.

Google Bullied North Carolina Over Lenoir Project

According to the News & Observer, Google used its clout to bully North Carolina lawmakers into offering more incentives and keeping quiet about plans to build a server farm in Lenoir.

…the search engine behemoth demanded that lawmakers never speak its name, according to e-mail records…Records show that the company was often agitated by the legislative process. Google executives threatened to walk away from the negotiating table and asked Commerce Secretary Jim Fain to exercise his power over the bill writing process.

Using tactics right out of any negotiation handbook, Google used subtle threats to get what they wanted…

North Carolina Desperate to Lure Google

Yesterday’s print edition of the Raleigh News & Observer has a huge piece on what NC is doing to try and convince Google to build a server farm in Lenoir (which is located in the west of the state).

Lenoir and Caldwell County are in dire straits, especially since they relied heavily on a now defunct furniture industry. It’s so bad there that Caldwell County Economic Development Commission and Duke Energy have bought up 150 acres just in case Google selects Lenoir. In addition, state and local governments are willing to forgo real estate taxes for 30 years, worth $100 million, in a desperate effort to attract the $600 million operation and the 210 related jobs.

Google Slows Data Center Growth; Opts Out of North Carolina Grant

We have another sign that Google is very much concerned about the current economic conditions. Both the Raleigh News & Observer and the Triangle Business Journal are reporting that the search engine giant has told state officials it won’t be taking a $4.7 million grant after all.

The grant was supposed to be an incentive for Google to create 210 jobs and spend $600 million over four years–all at its new data center in Lenoir, NC. However, Google has thus far only hired 50 employees and has all but stopped the expansion of its data center in Lenoir.

While Google states it didn’t like all of the terms of the grant agreement it also cited “recent volatile economic conditions” in a letter to state officials.