Cupertino mayor accuses Apple, responsible for nearly 20% of the city's tax revenue, of not paying

Posted:
in General Discussion edited May 2016
The city of Cupertino, Calif. -- which is economically dependent on Apple -- is reportedly embroiled in a conflict over how it should fund the transport infrastructure needed to deal with congestion created by the company, as well as other businesses in the area.




Mayor Barry Chang recently proposed that Apple spend $100 million to improve infrastructure in the city, which could be strained even further once Apple completes its giant Campus 2 project, The Guardian said on Thursday. The proposal might've advanced if just one of three other city council members had voted in favor, but those people declined, something Chang blames on them being scared of offending Apple, and the company talking to them personally.

Chang told The Guardian that the most recent time he tried to visit Apple in person, security staff immediately surrounded him once he entered the lobby and escorted him off campus.

"They said 'you cannot come in, you're not invited'," according to Chang.

A number of Cupertino residents are reportedly upset that Chang and others in city government aren't doing enough to cope with noise and traffic generated by the city's old infrastructure, and some are calling for a halt to new development. Chang has insisted that restraining development would hurt the area's economy, and instead suggested higher taxes on companies like Apple as well as richer inhabitants.

An organization called Cupertino Citizens for Sensible Growth is in fact trying to get Chang recalled, despite his having assumed office just this December. The mayor has said he's not afraid, and is in fact running for a position in the California state assembly.

"Raising taxes is not popular, but I'm not afraid. We are the center of technology, and our public transit system is old and embarrassing," Chang said. "And the politicians have no backbone. They get scared."

A proposal currently in the works would charge $1,000 per person for companies with over 100 workers. Chang describes this as preferable to a competing alternative, which is simply a higher sales tax.

Between 2012 and 2013, Apple paid approximately $9.2 million into Cupertino taxes, or about 18 percent of the city's general fund budget. That amount is same as CEO Tim Cook's pay during 2014.

Chang recently tried to organize a rally outside Apple's headquarters, but said that he was unable to attract enough people.

Update: In a post to the official Cupertino City website, Mayor Chang said The Guardian article misunderstood his concerns and took quotes out of context.

"I was shocked and dismayed to see a recent article quoting me with words I never used and describing situations that never happened," Chang said. "I feel very strongly about combating traffic," said Mayor Chang. The mayor has previously promoted the idea that large companies that contribute to traffic problems should also contribute to traffic solutions. The Mayor was emphatic that, "other situations reported in the article absolutely have no bearing on anything that I may have said or anything that has happened in this community."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 114
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,516member
    Nothing stimulates the economy like chopping down the money tree that put you on the map.
    ahx1ewtheckmancalibrucemcleviquadra 610magman1979mike1tallest skilredraider11
  • Reply 2 of 114
    This argument is little different than the argument that the rich in general don't pay enough taxes, when in reality the richest 10% pay the majority of federal income tax...in fact the bottom 50% of earners pay almost no federal tax at all.
    ewtheckmanSpamSandwichbrucemcmaltzmike1redraider11spacekidnetmagelongpathviclauyyc
  • Reply 3 of 114
    cintoscintos Posts: 103member
    The expanse of property committed to the new Apple campus was ALL occupied by office buildings prior to the acquisition by Apple. It is likely that - given the vast areas of open space in the Apple design - that the employee density will be lower than previously on that site.
    ewtheckmanSpamSandwichai46pscooter63netmagelongpathyoyo2222
  • Reply 4 of 114
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,415member
    Cupertino should just hit all employees who work within its borders with a payroll tax of 1%, regardless of whether they live in the city, like Washington D.C. and St. Louis do. Taxation without representation. Few employees of Apple will be able to vote against such a measure, because most live elsewhere.
    edited May 2016 cornchip
  • Reply 5 of 114
    Barry Chang is a nut case.
    netmagemwhitecornchip
  • Reply 6 of 114
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,323member
    How many millions of dollars is Apple's new campus pouring into that economy, and he has the nerve to demand even more? That doesn't seem right.
    calitallest skilmike1magman1979netmagemwhitelongpathviclauyyccornchippulseimages
  • Reply 7 of 114
    ahx1ahx1 Posts: 6member
    sog35 said:
    Is this guy an idiot or what?

    So he wants to piss off the biggest employer in the county?

    I wish Bezo's was Apple's CEO. He would have ripped this guy a new one.

    yes this guy. This is the guy that Tim cook is allowing to heap crap on the Apple name.

    I'm getting sick of Tim Cook being such a push over and allowing small fry to crap on Apple's brand. Weird that when Steve Jobs was CEO hardly anyone in media/politics/Wall Street crapped on Apple. Yet now Apple is more powerful and richer than ever it gets crapped on all the time.


    wtf are you talking about!? Crap on the brand? How is this Tim's fault? LOLOLOLOL man some of you in the comments here crack me up!
    mike1palominenetmageafrodristevehjony0baconstangrevenant
  • Reply 8 of 114
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,737member
    lkrupp said:
    Nothing stimulates the economy like chopping down the money tree that put you on the map.
    Thing is about California, the property taxes go to the county and then they disperse it to the cities as they see fit. Chang should be going to Santa Clara County to ask for the money. I don't see how the city could levy the funds because Apple doesn't owe it. Perhaps they should of thought to include more infrastructure improvements as part of the building permit. Too late now. I'm sure some improvements were included around the actual building site, but it sounds like they now want to improve other parts of the city on Apple's dime. During the permit process the City Council tried to get Apple to pay for citywide WiFi but Steve said no.
    edited May 2016 ewtheckmancalistompymike1palominenetmagelongpathviclauyychlee1169entropys
  • Reply 9 of 114
    GrimzahnGrimzahn Posts: 64member
    Perhaps it is time to move to Irland.
    calipalomineviclauyycawilliams87cornchipentropys
  • Reply 10 of 114
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,062member
    sog35 said:
    Is this guy an idiot or what?

    So he wants to piss off the biggest employer in the county?

    I wish Bezo's was Apple's CEO. He would have ripped this guy a new one.

    yes this guy. This is the guy that Tim cook is allowing to heap crap on the Apple name.

    I'm getting sick of Tim Cook being such a push over and allowing small fry to crap on Apple's brand. Weird that when Steve Jobs was CEO hardly anyone in media/politics/Wall Street crapped on Apple. Yet now Apple is more powerful and richer than ever it gets crapped on all the time.


    You need some help, seriously. What do you want Cook to do, go to the guy's house, tie him up along with his family, and threaten him? The guy is the fucking Mayor, he has freedom of speech like anyone else. As far as I know, Cook hasn't caved in or agreed with any demands or proposals, so don't know WTF you're talking about. He's a tech CEO, not a mob boss. In regards to "crapping on Apple" (a term you've repeated like 5 times in your post), ironic coming from you, as you often have the most unfair, unhinged and unsubstantiated attacks on Cook and the company, that have literally NOTHING to do with their performance or anything under their control- this post being a prime example. Oh, and you have a horrible or selective memory. Apple was "crapped on" substantially under Jobs, there's no reason to expect it to lessen with time and as the company has exploded in size and success.
    edited May 2016 calijohnnyblaise24magman1979suddenly newtonpscooter63robbyxpalominesingularitymwhitenolamacguy
  • Reply 11 of 114
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,360member
    Serves 'em right!

    I bet that a lot of Apple employees are Bernie supporters who have contributed to the campaign and they support higher taxation!

    Now pay up what you owe! Put your money where your mouth is!

    Apple only contributes nearly 20% of the city's tax revenue? It should clearly be much higher!

    Down with the rich! Down with greedy corporations! The rich are evil! And Apple has plenty of money! It's absolutely disgusting that any company should make that much money.

    Let's dismantle Apple and nationalize it! Power to the people! Crackhead lives matter!
    edited May 2016 SpamSandwichmaltzredraider11lkruppnetmagespacekidawilliams87cornchipttollertonmonstrosity
  • Reply 12 of 114
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,211member
    Taxes will never be high enough for progressives. Bloody robbers.
    apple ][tallest skilredraider11lkruppmwhitenetmagelongpathawilliams87cornchipttollerton
  • Reply 13 of 114
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 16,907member
    Make sure you read the full Guardian article.  Not only is this mayor an idiot, but the article is biased in the extreme.  Every stat and quote is wrapped in language that implies Apple is a selfish, evil tax cheating company who should pay it's "fair share."  There is no counterbalance, no discussion of what causes corporate inversion, no talk of the positive things Apple SURELY does for its home City, no discussion of the economic benefits of having the juggernaut that is Apple live in your town...nothing.   It's just more left-wing crap.   Apple should publicly respond to this windbag like this:  

    We at Apple are aware of recent criticisms and policy proposals put forth by Mayor Chang.  As a responsible corporate citizen, Apple has made its home here for more than 30 years.  We are proud of our relationship with our City.  

    Apple currently pays over $9m per year to the City of Cupertino in income taxes.  This represents over 18% of the City's entire budget.  Many of our employees live in and around Cupertino, and pay personal income, sales and property taxes as well.  Apple is one of the largest employers in the world, located right here in Cupertino.  The economic benefits of Apple's presence alone are nearly indescribable.  This is to say nothing of our corporate efforts in philanthropy, which are extensive.  Put simply, Cupertino would be unrecognizable without Apple.  

    While we are always willing to discuss ways to solve problems and improve our community, Apple will not be berated by an elected official who is clearly attacking us for political gain.   We will engage in no further discussions with Mr. Chang.  Should a new mayor be elected, Apple will enthusiastically collaborate and cooperate with those who seek to improve our home.  

    netmagelongpath
  • Reply 14 of 114
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,635member
    So basically, he wants Apple with all of its BILLIONS of dollars to pay 100% of Cupertino's taxes. I mean Apple could have easily chosen to build its new headquarters elsewhere. Maybe some of these issues should have been brought up BEFORE they approved of Apple Campus 2 being approved by the city. Were they afraid to say no to Steve Jobs in the first place???

    its not like Apple is bullying the city to get out of paying taxes. Sounds like poor planning on the city's part for all of these projects and the mayor wants Apple to pay for it because it has the money to do so. 

    Funny how everyone seems to think they deserve a small portion of Apple's cash...
    edited May 2016 magman1979longpathviclauyycentropys
  • Reply 15 of 114
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    apple ][ said:
    Serves 'em right!

    I bet that a lot of Apple employees are Bernie supporters who have contributed to the campaign and they support higher taxation!

    Now pay up what you owe! Put your money where your mouth is!

    Apple only contributes nearly 20% of the city's tax revenue? It should clearly be much higher!

    Down with the rich! Down with greedy corporations! The rich are evil! And Apple has plenty of money! It's absolutely disgusting that any company should make that much money.

    Let's dismantle Apple and nationalize it! Power to the people! Crackhead lives matter!
    You're a trump supporter.
    viclauyycbaconstangrevenantspheric
  • Reply 16 of 114
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 747member
    This argument is little different than the argument that the rich in general don't pay enough taxes, when in reality the richest 10% pay the majority of federal income tax...in fact the bottom 50% of earners pay almost no federal tax at all.
    The rich also take in 90% of the financial gains over the last 2 decades and actually end up paying a lower effective tax rate than most citizens. And the comment that 50% pay no federal tax is crap. Unless you are making close to minimum wage, you are paying federal taxes. If you are you are in extreme poverty and can barely afford to eat and have shelter. 

    nolamacguymwhitemontrosemacsbaconstang
  • Reply 17 of 114
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 339member
    This argument is little different than the argument that the rich in general don't pay enough taxes, when in reality the richest 10% pay the majority of federal income tax...in fact the bottom 50% of earners pay almost no federal tax at all.
    The richest 10% also have the majority of income and wealth, which by definition means they get the most benefit from living, working, and doing business here. Of course they're responsible for the majority of the taxes.
    montrosemacsdasanman69baconstang
  • Reply 18 of 114
    radster360radster360 Posts: 539member
    Wait - Isn't this the same mayor and same city council who approved the Mother ship campus? What about the big new Cupertino Downtown plan under construction? Isn't that generating all the noise and traffic issue also. I am any other city in Bay Area would love to have Apple in their neighborhood and the revenue it will bring. Apparently, Apple has been slowly slowly getting away from being dependent on Cupertino. They have been occupying lot more office space in Sunnyvale, Mountain and in San Jose. I am sure San Ramon, Pleasanton, Dublin would love to be have Apple campus in these cities/town. 
    magman1979calimwhitelongpathbaconstang
  • Reply 19 of 114
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,360member
    cali said:

    You're a trump supporter.
    Oh no!I've been found out! I've been trying to keep it a secret.

    What sort of expert detective work did you utilize to come to that conclusion? :#
    entropys
  • Reply 20 of 114
    SnowbumpSnowbump Posts: 1member
    I believe it was a horrible mistake to build "The Spaceship" in California where liberal government practices "Government Greed" on a daily basis. Apple should have built the "Spaceship" at the new campus in Austin, Texas. Texas is a much more business friendly state that California will ever be. Building in California was a huge mistake. The Cupertino offices should have been closed and moved to Austin, TX. http://www.wired.com/2012/12/apple-austin/
    netmagelongpathsteveh
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