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Apple Gets Tax Break Approval for Arizona Sapphire Glass Facility

iphone_5_camera_sapphireThe Gilbert Public School Board has approved a tax break for Apple, clearing the way for the company to continue on with its plans to build a 700-employee manufacturing facility in Mesa, Arizona, reports AZ Central. The school board is reportedly the last of eight government entities needed to approve the deal, which will see Apple's property reclassified as a foreign trade zone.
The Gilbert Public Schools' governing board on Monday voted 5-0 in favor of allowing a tax break for Apple Inc., meaning the tech giant can continue with its plans to open a manufacturing plant in Mesa.

The fate of the high-profile deal potentially worth hundreds of jobs seemed to hang in the balance, with the school district being the last of eight governing entities needed to approve a property reclassification that would entitle the premier tech company to a tax break.
First announced in early November, the Arizona facility will be used by Apple partner GT Advanced to produce sapphire glass for Apple.

In addition to providing GT Advanced with a manufacturing plant, Apple will also fund the company with a prepayment of $578 million, allowing GT Advanced to install next-generation high capacity furnaces to manufacture greater quantities of sapphire glass at a lower cost.

Apple currently uses sapphire glass, which is more durable and scratch resistant than other glasses, in small quantities for both the iPhone's rear camera and the Touch ID home button on the iPhone 5s.

Rumors have suggested that sapphire glass could be used for future smartphone displays and it is also possible that Apple will use sapphire glass from GT Advanced for its rumored iWatch. Sapphire glass is already used by high-end watchmaking companies for its extreme durability.

The sapphire glass facility is set to open in Mesa, Arizona in 2014 and according to Apple, will provide more than 2,000 total jobs in engineering, manufacturing, and construction as it is built.

Top Rated Comments

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12 months ago
This is just stupid.

I'm all for private companies making profits and such - but why do Apple really need tax breaks when they have over $100 billion in the bank?

It's especially the case with the income and distribution of wealth. Apple looks for tax breaks yet those working in the lowest wage (probably doing the most work than some top paid execs) paying departments producing Apple products in factories can barely afford to live.

Apple should be producing everything in the United States - and it's the United States governments fault for not acting quick enough when these technology companies started shifting production to Asia and beyond. It's not political, it's moral and ethics we're talking here and it's the fault of whose at the top of both Apple and the US government.
Rating: 21 Votes
12 months ago
The way communities whore them selves like this....
So what corporations basically say is that they want to use all the local infrastructure and not have to pay for it....so everyone else's taxes go up to compensate.
Sure, they bring in some jobs....so what. All communities should just say no. What will happen, corps not build new plants?
Rating: 13 Votes
12 months ago
Apple needs a tax break, BADLY



Because billion dollar corporations are people too!!!!
Rating: 12 Votes
12 months ago
It's unbelievable how far over states and cities bend to attract investment. So many times the tax forgiven is greater than the tax benefit of employed workers.

Companies like Apple, play them like fiddles.
Rating: 11 Votes
12 months ago
this is ridiculous! Every small company has to pay full taxes yet those large corporations with billions of profits get tax cuts.... all while even the (considered) rich countries are drowning in debt.

Screw the politicians that make this possible!
Rating: 11 Votes
12 months ago
Thank goodness Apple doesn't have to pay money into the school district of its workers! Clearly it would have been Apple's duty to relocate if such onerous responsibilities were imposed.

This totally vitiates the value of "Made in America". What's the worth of that claim if many of the domestic benefits are exempted because they can declare it a foreign trade zone? What's next -- refusing to repatriate the profits from that plant unless all US taxes are exempted, as Apple insists for its other foreign divisions?
Rating: 10 Votes
12 months ago
I can almost hear the friction of Tim Cook's hands rubbing together.
Rating: 9 Votes
12 months ago

It's unbelievable how far over states and cities bend to attract investment. So many times the tax forgiven is greater than the tax benefit of employed workers.

Companies like Apple, play them like fiddles.


Exactly, then when that TIF expires, the company asks for another. If said community says no, corp moves to some other city that says "yes" and leaves an abandoned building that the prior city then needs to deal with.
All cities should just say no. With the way it is now, it's just another transfer of wealth behind the scenes.
Rating: 8 Votes
12 months ago
In before the pro-IRS crowd complains about big companies getting tax breaks. If you create hundreds of jobs in my state I would gladly vote on it!
Rating: 7 Votes
12 months ago

Think about what a tax is... it's public money. Companies don't pay taxes, their customers do. So a tax to Apple is a tax to you. Tax breaks simply remove the unnecessary transfer of money and [theoretically] lowers the costs for everyone.

Would you prefer that unreasonably high taxes deter grown and development? Because that's what happens in the real world.


That is the lie people do not understand. Since the early 80's there has been an emergence of consulting companies that help other companies determine the maximum price they can charge consumers. There no longer is a standard formula companies use to sell their products bases off of raw material costs and labor. These lower taxes are nothing more than a transfer of wealth to the top.
Rating: 6 Votes

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