Oregon Reneges Key Tax Break for Comcast Gigabit Internet
Comcast will not be able to take advantage of a tax exemption in Oregon for companies that provide gigabit internet service. The tax break was expected to be worth tens of millions of dollars to the telecommunications company, according to a report by The Oregonian.
The Oregon Department of Revenue ruled last week that Comcast is not eligible for the tax break which was created last year in hopes of bringing Google Fiber to Portland.
The property tax applies to companies that offer internet connections of at least 1 gigabit per second, equivalent to Google Fiber’s basic service. Comcast argued it should qualify too because it offers a 2 gigabit service to customers who pay a premium.
According to the report, state lawmakers said that the tax break wasn’t intended for premium services or pricing. However, in February, it was ruled that Comcast qualified for the tax exemption.
The Department of Revenue ruled this week that Comcast was ineligible for the tax break, at least for this year. It is expected that Comcast will appeal the ruling.
Google Fiber and Frontier Communications each had their applications denied. According to the report, the department may have declined their applications because both companies applied prospectively, but Google Fiber said if it has to pay this tax, it will not be coming to Oregon.