Report: Google Fiber says Oregon tax bill will make serving Portland 'extremely unlikely'

Google Fiber (NASDAQ: GOOG) has come into another local community tangle in Oregon, where it has told lawmakers that the state's proposed tax changes will make it "extremely unlikely" the service provider will bring its service to the Portland area.

According to a report in The Oregonian, the Oregon House of Representatives apparently overlooked or ignored a letter the service provider sent them last Thursday, prompting it to vote 52-2 to approve the new law.

However, on Monday, Sen. Mark Hass, chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance and Revenue, said his chamber will quickly address Google Fiber's issues with the proposed law.

"These are easy fixes and we will make them in the senate," wrote Hass, D-Beaverton.

One of the key elements of Senate Bill 611 is that it values property owned by telecom providers and other technology companies on what are "intangible" assets, such as the value of a companies' brands.

A number of technology companies that testified against the bill said that Oregon's tax structure could make Oregon a less attractive state to build out telecom and data center facilities.

Google Fiber said that SB611 provides an exemption from the state's tax structure to companies with the ability to offer Internet service of "at least one gigabit." However, Gigabit Fiber offers speeds "up to a gigabit" per second, meaning that the state law, as it is currently structured, would make Google Fiber ineligible to get the tax exemption.

In June, Google Fiber was granted a franchise to operate its FTTH service in the city. In crafting a deal with the city, Portland city commissioners had to agree to tone down some of their restrictions on the placement of utility cabinets along rights of way. 

For more:
- The Oregonian has this article

Related articles:
Google Fiber puts 1-Gig network expansion decision on hold
Google Fiber gets green light to operate network in Portland, Ore.

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