Data In The Dark: How Big Tech Secretly Secured $800 Million In Tax Breaks For Data Centers

08/19/2021

Image of the G in stones. The G appears to be the G used in the Google logo.
Credit: Canva

The world's biggest, richest companies waltz into towns across the country asking for tax breaks for new projects, but they fail to reveal themselves until the deal is done. They demand millions in tax breaks, threatening to go elsewhere if their projects are denied. It's a bad trend and costly for communities, which lose billions of dollars in revenue.

And attorneys representing these companies make bank off the deals.

Scott Ziance leads one of the largest tax-incentives practices in the country. As he negotiated one such deal in Columbus, Ohio, he told elected officials: "You'll be very proud to have this company and its parent in your community."

What Ziance didn't tell them, according to Forbes, was the name of his Delaware-registered shell company until later. It was Google.

“We have Facebook and Microsoft and Apple and Google and Amazon: These are very, very profitable corporations,”  Kasia Tarczynska, an analyst for Good Jobs First, a non-profit policy advisory firm that has tracked data center subsidies, told Forbes. “They don't want attention because it's very easy to question why localities would give millions and millions of dollars to very wealthy companies.”

Read the full story at Forbes.

And don't miss our report on the high cost of low-job-producing data centers.