Boulder, CO provides Tax Incentives for IBM’s Green Data Center

IBM’s Green Data Center has been covered by numerous news & blogs, and I didn’t have anything to add until I ran into this article, regarding IBM’s presence in Tulsa, OK and their tax rebates there.

Across the nation, IBM leaves a trail of broken promises

Big Blue takes public benefits, but cuts jobs, underdelivers

By Christine Young

Times Herald-Record

July 27, 2008

It was December 2004, and Tulsa, Okla., was abuzz with excitement.

IBM, which already employed more than 1,200 in Tulsa, had made a deal with the state to add another 1,000 jobs by 2009. In return, Big Blue would get $35.2 million in rebates over 10 years.

Calling it “great news for Tulsa and for all of Oklahoma,” Gov. Brad Henry praised IBM as “a vital and valuable corporate citizen.” He said the deal “signifies good things for both IBM and Tulsa.”

He was only half right.

Since the 2004 agreement, the Oklahoma Tax Commission has sent Big Blue more than $4.4 million in rebates. Yet state figures show the company’s job count is the same today as it was before the deal was signed.

This raises questions for New York, where the ink is still drying on an agreement with IBM that will cost taxpayers $140 million in exchange for promises of jobs and economic development.

So, what happened in Boulder, CO and IBM’s Green Data Center.

In Boulder, Colo., where IBM employs about 3,000, the city doled out a $100,000 tax rebate on top of state incentives worth $632,000 for a “green” data center that opened last month but created no new jobs.

“The city’s money was really an indication to IBM corporate that Boulder really cares about having this company here,” Frances Draper of the Boulder Economic Council told reporters. “That was an incredibly important part of their decision.”

This year IBM has slashed 400 jobs in Boulder.

I wonder if the person who doled out the tax rebates even knows IBM slashed 400 jobs in Boulder.

The author continues on how much people fear IBM.

The dirty secret is that no one wants to take on IBM for fear of losing jobs and hurting the local economy, especially in areas such as Dutchess County, where Big Blue is such a vital player.

“Nobody wants to throw the baby out with the bath water,” said Dutchess County Legislator Joel Tyner.

And so New York went ahead with a pact with IBM, requiring a hefty donation from taxpayers, and announcing it one day before the company’s second-quarter profit jumped a dizzying 22 percent to $2.77 billion, defying even Wall Street’s expectations.

The agreement with the Westchester-based technology giant, announced by Gov. David Paterson on July 15, calls for a $1.5 billion investment by IBM and $140 million by the state.

It includes $75 million from taxpayers for 1,000 new jobs – 325 at Albany Nanotech, and another 675 at an upstate facility that has yet to be named.

The remaining $65 million will help finance the expansion and upgrade of IBM’s East Fishkill plant, in return for IBM’s pledge to retain 1,400 semiconductor jobs at the Dutchess County site.