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Apple Expressing Frustration as Tax Incentives for Austin Expansion Remain in Limbo

Last month, the State of Texas announced that Apple would be making a major expansion of its existing customer support and administrative campus in Austin, investing over $300 million to add 3,600 workers at the site. The move would more than double Apple's workforce in Austin.

Over the past several weeks, a number of governmental agencies, including the State of Texas, Travis County, and the City of Austin have been working on tax break packages designed to secure Apple's commitment to bring the new jobs to Austin. While most of the incentive packages have been approved, the Austin American-Statesman reports that delays in work by Travis County are leaving Apple "frustrated" and the deal "in peril".
Dave Porter, senior vice president for economic development at the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, said Thursday that Apple's plans to bring its Americas operations center to Austin are up in the air because of the county's continuing deliberations and calls for new conditions on its incentives deal with the company.

"This deal is not done. It remains in peril. And Apple is frustrated," Porter said.
Travis County had been expected to offer tax breaks of $5.4-6.4 million as part of the overall incentive package of $35-36 million over 10-15 years, and while Travis County had given initial approval to its portion of the deal earlier this month, it has yet to be finalized.

The delays are related to objections raised by the opponents of the deal, who have claimed that the terms of the deal are too favorable for Apple and could see the company avoid penalties should it fail to meet some of the contract's terms.

Apple had been said to also be considering Phoenix, Arizona as a potential location for its new facilities, and while it seems likely that the company would much prefer to locate the new facility at its existing campus in Austin, it is likely continuing to weigh its options until a final deal for the Austin site is signed.

Top Rated Comments

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76 months ago
Why give tax breaks to the most profitable corporations in the world? The local authorities have to provide infrastructure, etc., and get no revenue?
Rating: 25 Votes
76 months ago
Yes, let's give Apple tax breaks, they really need them.
Rating: 20 Votes
76 months ago

Exactly. It is competition which is healthy for everyone. You can compete to have someone bring jobs to your area or not and lose it all.

It is just the greedy, power-hungry politicians in Travis County who think they can squeeze something out of Apple.

More like Apple is trying to squeeze something out of Travis County. Travis County is providing city services and infrastructure, paid for with taxes. It's absurd that we have any sort of corporate welfare like this, especially for companies with the cash reserves Apple has. How you can defend this is beyond me.
Rating: 11 Votes
76 months ago
Texas is in a better economic position than much of the US right now. Maybe they don't need to bend over for Apple?
Rating: 10 Votes
76 months ago

Why give tax breaks to the most profitable corporations in the world? The local authorities have to provide infrastructure, etc., and get no revenue?

Apple will locate its offices where it is best to strategically, and that includes keeping an eye on associated costs. If building in Austin is more expensive (and thus less advantageous), then Apple will go elsewhere. If Austin wants a major employer to stay there and grow, then they will offer Apple some incentives. Make no doubt, it is beneficial for Austin to have that many more jobs in the area with all those added workers spending money in the area.

And being a profitable company does not mean that the company should be dicked around with. It is a profitable company because it is extremely well run and is a company you'd want in your city.
Rating: 9 Votes
76 months ago

Why give tax breaks to the most profitable corporations in the world? The local authorities have to provide infrastructure, etc., and get no revenue?

They don't need any tax breaks ... And why should they get any ... What a joke ...

3,600 people paying income tax and sales tax and homeowner taxes and car taxes provides lots of revenue.

It's up to Texas and Arizona to fight over that revenue.

What do you suggest? If you're on that city council you'd say "yeah, sure. Go send all that money to Arizona. We don't need it"? (Not to mention that your unemployment rate is worse since there are 3,600 fewer jobs than there otherwise would have been.)

That's not a move that will get you reelected.

How you can defend this is beyond me.

Then give us a solution. What should that city council do?
Rating: 8 Votes
76 months ago

Why give tax breaks to the most profitable corporations in the world? The local authorities have to provide infrastructure, etc., and get no revenue?

A 'tax break' is a far cry from 'no revenue'.
Rating: 7 Votes
76 months ago

Oooohhh. Inquiring minds want to know. Please provide a list of the "terrible products" that oil companies and healthcare industries make...

haha seriously, those companies make products we need

apple makes products we want
Rating: 5 Votes
76 months ago
Forget about that it's Apple for a second. Why shouldn't American corporations that are doing well pay the same taxes as every other company? Isn't the American thing to help out the American economy during its time of need?
Rating: 5 Votes
76 months ago

Apple is trying to reduce risk by physically spreading. Resistance is not only not futile but is surprisingly intense and evidence of why business cannot thrive in this country.


Don't make me laugh. Businesses cannot thrive because they need to not pay taxes? If that is the case, then they are not running businesses, but criminal rackets. Businesses do not exist in some separate bubble, above the call of mean ol' big government and dem dirty libruls. They exist in the real world, and while they can create jobs, there is a cost to being a business: They use the same roads and the same services as anyone else. Who owns those roads? The state and local governments. Who runs those services? Local governments. As a consequence, a municipal government has a right to be worried when, for example, 3000+ more cars start clogging the highways during rush hour (given this is Texas, carpooling and/or shuttle would laughed off stage) without some form of reparation, especially one that can be used to perhaps alleviate said highway clogging. Now unless Apple is willing to force their employees to live on-site, build roads specifically for company use, and create other infrastructure (hospitals, fire department, power grid, etc.) to suit the needs of their employees, they are going to use those highways, and those services. Travis County is only asking for what is close enough to fair with some compromise.

But wait, you say. Why don't they use income, sales, or property taxes to get what they want through these new employees? Well, barring aside the fact that Texas has no income tax and very low taxes otherwise, what you are suggesting is that employees take on the additional burden of what their employers should be paying (since, more often than not, those forms of taxes are regressive and tend to rise). The words greedy, imbalanced, selfish, and sociopathic are not strong enough words to describe what you are suggesting. Immoral may be an appropriate term, but most of your type (not saying you specifically) seem to assign that to petty kulturkampf issues. Remember, there is a cost to everything. Plenty of successful and thriving businesses have paid it in the past. If you can't pay that cost, you should not be doing business.
Rating: 5 Votes

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