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Tax break proposed for new Google facility

The City of The Dalles and Wasco County have negotiated an agreement with Google that will provide the company with a start-up tax break for new facilities in return for an $800,000 per year investment into public services.

To qualify for the new Rural Enterprise Zone agreement that extend for 15 years, Google has to invest $200 million or more into its expanded operation and create at least 10 new jobs.

The new agreement is separate from and in addition to the exiting Enterprise Zone that was established seven years ago. Under that deal, which will continue for eight more years, Google had to invest an amount equal to or greater than “one percent of the real market value of all nonexempt taxable property in Wasco County, or $16.9 million, based on the 2004-05 Oregon Property Tax Statistics.”

The company also had to employ 35 or more “full-time equivalent year-round employees” and provide $250,000 per year for 15 years to fund essential services. The tax abatement funds are distributed between the city, county and college and used to support veterans’ programs, workforce training and economic development programs.

The city council has added the agreement involving a new data storage warehouse on the exiting Google campus as a supplemental item on the Sept. 23 meeting agenda. Details about the proposal are posted online. The elected body meets at 5:30 p.m. in the municipal chambers at 313 Court Street.

On Sept. 24, the Wasco County Commission invites area residents to comment on the deal at a special meeting that begins at 8:30 a.m. in Room 302 of the county courthouse. The agreement will be posted online under the county commission link.

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