“Any for-profit entity of (Google’s) magnitude using land owned by the people should not escape paying their fair share,” said Larry Stone, Santa Clara County’s tax assessor. If Google were to build its campus on county land, he estimated, it could generate as much as $3 million in property tax revenue.
Greg Perry, a member of the Mountain View City Council, echoed that sentiment. “If public land is being used for private purposes, the tenants should be paying local property taxes,” he said. “We have $30 million in unfunded retirement liabilities. We need the money.”
When asked how he would compel Google to pay more to the county, Stone replied: “I don’t have a clue yet. But I will.”
While there may be a libertarian argument against using Ames Research Center (which is funded via Federal taxes), it is difficult to see any such “local” case as promulgated by Perry et al. On a related note, I am counting the days until a central commissioner official maker-doer-guy demands that nascent lemonade stand operators fund State-based retirement schemes as well.