Get the latest news alerts: at Twitter.

The Associated Press

RALEIGH, N.C. – A North Carolina appeals court has ruled that only specific taxpayers who are negatively affected by a tax break can sue to challenge the special benefits available to some companies but not others.

The state Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that three taxpayers weren’t recognized under state law as eligible to sue because of tax breaks used to lure (Nasdaq: GOOG), to Caldwell County.

Lawmakers approved exemptions from the state’s retail sales and use tax, worth about $90 million over 30 years, in exchange for Google building an Internet data center in Lenoir. The data center was to create up to 210 jobs.

The North Carolina Institute for Constitutional Law challenged Google’s tax breaks, claiming it forces other taxpayers to pay more. The group earlier failed to reverse incentives given to computer maker Dell Inc.