Apple's new Austin campus won by $41M in incentives

Posted:
in General Discussion
Williamson County commissioners in Texas voted 5 to 0 on Tuesday to approve tax-funded handouts to Apple as it works to establish its second, $1 billion campus in north Austin.

Austin campus site plan


The incentives are worth up to $16 million over the course of a 15-year term, the Austin American-Statesman reported on Tuesday. That's on top of another $25 million from the Texas Enterprise Fund.

The commissioners took just 30 minutes to approve the new measure. Apple's senior director of Americas operations, Tony Ross, spoke in front of the group, claiming that Texas is "absolutely essential" to the company.

"It felt totally natural that we'd continue to grow here in the Lone Star state," he added. "We are so excited that Williamson County will soon become an important part of our story."

Apple has had some form of presence in Austin since 1992, but several years ago it established a major campus on West Parmer Lane and currently employs about 6,200 people in the city. Much of its non-retail workforce is dedicated to operations work and AppleCare.

The upcoming campus could add as many as 5,000 jobs in the long term, and make Apple the single biggest private employer within Austin, even though Dell and Amazon's Whole Foods have their global headquarters in the area.

AppleInsider recently visited the site of Apple's future campus, about mile from the existing one. So far no real construction work has begun, but we'll be checking in regularly as it progresses.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 27
    Meanwhile, in California they’re chasing businesses out of the state.
  • Reply 2 of 27
    Kudos to Williamson County commissioners but is $16 million dollars over 15 years really an incensitve for Apple?  It seems to me that the money will be a lot more meaningful to the residents of the county.  Or is it just to show good faith / commitment?
  • Reply 3 of 27
    Meanwhile, in California they’re chasing businesses out of the state.
    “No one goes there anyone, it’s too crowded...”

    I think CA will be fine. Silicon Valley, Hollywood, coastal living, beautiful wilderness, and good weather seem to be pretty popular with people. I don’t see these things becoming less popular. 
    edited December 2018 cmd-zzoetmbronnGeorgeBMacmuthuk_vanalingamdsd
  • Reply 4 of 27
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 998member
    Yeah, 'cause Apple has completely pulled out of CA, right:?

    I'm not a big fan of huge government handouts to corporations, but given the size of the project, just over $1M per year is pretty modest.
    randominternetpersonronn
  • Reply 5 of 27
    urashid said:
    Kudos to Williamson County commissioners but is $16 million dollars over 15 years really an incensitve for Apple?  It seems to me that the money will be a lot more meaningful to the residents of the county.  Or is it just to show good faith / commitment?
    I take your point...it seems this is the way these things work now.

    The richest company in the world getting a $41 million incentive from money taken out of education, infrastructure, etc., from the good people of Williamson County. Hmmmmmm. Not cool! 

    For some reason Americans put shareholder's rights above all other considerations. Business are continually allowed to raid public taxpayer coffers! 

    *The top one tenth of 1% (.01%) now have as much assets/wealth as the bottom 90%!

    Something is amiss, afoot, alas! :)

    *Source: Fareed Zakaria GPS: (12/16/18)
    edited December 2018 ronnmuthuk_vanalingamgatorguy
  • Reply 6 of 27
    urashid said:
    Kudos to Williamson County commissioners but is $16 million dollars over 15 years really an incensitve for Apple?  It seems to me that the money will be a lot more meaningful to the residents of the county.  Or is it just to show good faith / commitment?
    I take your point...it seems this is the way these things work now.

    The richest company in the world getting a $41 million incentive from money taken out of education, infrastructure, etc., from the good people of Williamson County. Hmmmmmm. Not cool! 
    These "tax incentives" aren't a check Williamson County is writing to Apple.  They are discounts on taxes that Apple will be paying--money Williamson County wouldn't have if Apple weren't going there.  Obviously WC would be better off if Apple made exactly the same decision without any sweeteners, but clearly the county officials believes that these incentives were worth it.
    airnerdthtd_2beowulfschmidtstompy
  • Reply 7 of 27
    Meanwhile, in California they’re chasing businesses out of the state.
    And in Texas they are reverting paved roads to gravel and dirt due to lack of budget resources.
    ronn
  • Reply 8 of 27
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 1,855member
    "Williamson County commissioners in Texas voted 5 to 0 on Tuesday to approve tax-funded handouts to Apple as it works to establish its second, $1 billion campus in north Austin."

    Are you really sure this campus is partly funded by tax money? Maybe Apple will just pay less tax later? 
  • Reply 9 of 27
    davgreg said:
    Meanwhile, in California they’re chasing businesses out of the state.
    And in Texas they are reverting paved roads to gravel and dirt due to lack of budget resources.
    Got a link for that?  I've never heard or seen that happening here.  
  • Reply 10 of 27
    Meanwhile, in California they’re chasing businesses out of the state.
    Oh, brother... 
    what does this actually fucking mean, or are you just being a dick? I suspect the later. 
    cmd-zSolironnGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 11 of 27

    California Companies Flee Business-Hostile State In Droves

    • 12/17/2018

    California: California's business environment has gone from bad to worse, with thousands of businesses pulling up stakes and moving elsewhere. But don't take our word for it. Just ask the 1,800 companies that either relocated or "disinvested" in the formerly Golden State in 2016.


    - Investors Business Daily

  • Reply 12 of 27
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 2,926moderator
    urashid said:
    Kudos to Williamson County commissioners but is $16 million dollars over 15 years really an incensitve for Apple?  It seems to me that the money will be a lot more meaningful to the residents of the county.  Or is it just to show good faith / commitment?
    I take your point...it seems this is the way these things work now.

    The richest company in the world getting a $41 million incentive from money taken out of education, infrastructure, etc., from the good people of Williamson County. Hmmmmmm. Not cool!  These "tax incentives" aren't a check Williamson County is writing to Apple.  They are discounts on taxes that Apple will be paying--money Williamson County wouldn't have if Apple weren't going there.  Obviously WC would be better off if Apple made exactly the same decision without any sweeteners, but clearly the county officials believes that these incentives were worth it.
    Further, it’s likely an offset to infrastructure improvements on the site that Apple will be paying for, or would be paying for, out of its own pocket.  Plumping and electrical hookup costs, perhaps?  Maybe it’s calculated to offset those so that effectively the county is footing that bill.  A fair compromise to acquire the benefits of a large employer like Apple.  

    Or maybe it’s calculated as an offset of property taxes Apple will be paying on the portion of the land Apple will maintain as green space.  Again, a fair compromise that places the local government in partnership with the company for a shared social/environmental benefit.  Otherwise why a mere $41 million against a billion dollar project?  Seems like it’s almost a token incentive and that suggests to me it’s likely tied to some specific shared benefit, not merely the highest bid to secure the presence of a job creator.  
    edited December 2018 d_2
  • Reply 13 of 27
    randominternetperson said:
    These "tax incentives" aren't a check Williamson County is writing to Apple.  They are discounts on taxes that Apple will be paying--money Williamson County wouldn't have if Apple weren't going there.  Obviously WC would be better off if Apple made exactly the same decision without any sweeteners, but clearly the county officials believes that these incentives were worth it.
    16 million from the county over 15 years, "That's on top of another $25 million from the Texas Enterprise Fund."

    To the county that's not bad vs. 5000 jobs. That works out to only $213.33 per job per year.
  • Reply 14 of 27
    Texas is currently enjoying a gigantic budget surplus because of the new “bigger than Saudi Arabia” oil deposits. California looks like they have a budget surplus, but that is because they removed their unfunded obligations (pension debt) out of the budget.  I wish I could do this too, but it’s illegal for me, and California for that matter, but in Sacramento they just say “NAH NAH NAH NAH NAH” a lot.
    d_2
  • Reply 15 of 27
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 1,964member
    I'm 100% giving Tax Cuts and other special deals to get some business to build there. I think it's completely unfair. Unfair to everyone else living there. Everyone should be equal under the law. You want businesses to go and build there, you should drop the taxes some for EVERYONE. Lower taxes, people come. Maybe you don't get Apple, but you get a lot of small businesses opening up instead. This is just playing favorites.

    You have Apple charging a whole lot of money for their phones. Then try to get the cheapest deal and pay out the least amount of taxes for themselves and screwing over the taxpayers. I really don't get this. You get less tax money, and then have all the issues off a bunch more people moving into town.

    I don't care where this happens at or whatever company. It just makes Apple look more and more greedy. How much is to much? Just like trying to get app developers to move to a subscription, so Apple can get their 30% cut every month. I have a number of Apple products, but I'm not going to kiss their greedy butt.
    edited December 2018 gatorguy
  • Reply 16 of 27
    davidwdavidw Posts: 938member
    jbdragon said:
    I'm 100% giving Tax Cuts and other special deals to get some business to build there. I think it's completely unfair. Unfair to everyone else living there. Everyone should be equal under the law. You want businesses to go and build there, you should drop the taxes some for EVERYONE. Lower taxes, people come. Maybe you don't get Apple, but you get a lot of small businesses opening up instead. This is just playing favorites.

    You have Apple charging a whole lot of money for their phones. Then try to get the cheapest deal and pay out the least amount of taxes for themselves and screwing over the taxpayers. I really don't get this. You get less tax money, and then have all the issues off a bunch more people moving into town.

    I don't care where this happens at or whatever company. It just makes Apple look more and more greedy. How much is to much? Just like trying to get app developers to move to a subscription, so Apple can get their 30% cut every month. I have a number of Apple products, but I'm not going to kiss their greedy butt.
    Texas has no State income tax. The State of Texas do not collect property tax, the local counties gets the property taxes and it's some of the highest in the Nation at 1.85%. The State of Texas do have a 6.5% State sales tax (not including the added local tax) and a corporate tax that tops off at 1% of revenue for large corporations and 0% for small businesses. Texas business taxes are already some of the most favorable in the Nation. And Texas is willing to do even better, to attract businesses.

    Now, I'm sure EVERYONE in Williamson County will still benefit from having Apple, Inc. paying a lot of property tax in Williamson County. Along with Apple employees spending their money there. And EVERYONE in Texas will benefit from Apple Inc. paying corporate taxes in Texas.  

    Think about this. When Williamson County and the State of Texas offered Apple Inc. a tax discount on the taxes that they are going to be paying, Williamson County and the State of Texas will still be making more in taxes than if Apple Inc. were not to locate there. Now, if Williamson County or Texas offered to reduce taxes for EVERYONE in Williamson County or Texas, who pays for that?

    Considering that the only taxes that EVERYONE in Texas pays, is sales tax. Who or what  makes up for the lost revenue from sales tax, if that were lowered? Would you move to Texas because they have a lower sales tax than the State you're in now? But I do know people that would consider moving to Texas (usually upon retirement) because they have no State income tax. And that already applies to EVERYONE living in Texas and Texas can't reduce that tax any more. Reducing property tax only benefit property owners. 

    You get it now?      
    d_2radarthekat
  • Reply 17 of 27
    Really tired of the corporate welfare.  Apple does not need incentives, they are cash-flush.  
  • Reply 18 of 27
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 2,926moderator
    davidw said:
    jbdragon said:
    I'm 100% giving Tax Cuts and other special deals to get some business to build there. I think it's completely unfair. Unfair to everyone else living there. Everyone should be equal under the law. You want businesses to go and build there, you should drop the taxes some for EVERYONE. Lower taxes, people come. Maybe you don't get Apple, but you get a lot of small businesses opening up instead. This is just playing favorites.

    You have Apple charging a whole lot of money for their phones. Then try to get the cheapest deal and pay out the least amount of taxes for themselves and screwing over the taxpayers. I really don't get this. You get less tax money, and then have all the issues off a bunch more people moving into town.

    I don't care where this happens at or whatever company. It just makes Apple look more and more greedy. How much is to much? Just like trying to get app developers to move to a subscription, so Apple can get their 30% cut every month. I have a number of Apple products, but I'm not going to kiss their greedy butt.
    Texas has no State income tax. The State of Texas do not collect property tax, the local counties gets the property taxes and it's some of the highest in the Nation at 1.85%. The State of Texas do have a 6.5% State sales tax (not including the added local tax) and a corporate tax that tops off at 1% of revenue for large corporations and 0% for small businesses. Texas business taxes are already some of the most favorable in the Nation. And Texas is willing to do even better, to attract businesses.

    Now, I'm sure EVERYONE in Williamson County will still benefit from having Apple, Inc. paying a lot of property tax in Williamson County. Along with Apple employees spending their money there. And EVERYONE in Texas will benefit from Apple Inc. paying corporate taxes in Texas.  

    Think about this. When Williamson County and the State of Texas offered Apple Inc. a tax discount on the taxes that they are going to be paying, Williamson County and the State of Texas will still be making more in taxes than if Apple Inc. were not to locate there. Now, if Williamson County or Texas offered to reduce taxes for EVERYONE in Williamson County or Texas, who pays for that?

    Considering that the only taxes that EVERYONE in Texas pays, is sales tax. Who or what  makes up for the lost revenue from sales tax, if that were lowered? Would you move to Texas because they have a lower sales tax than the State you're in now? But I do know people that would consider moving to Texas (usually upon retirement) because they have no State income tax. And that already applies to EVERYONE living in Texas and Texas can't reduce that tax any more. Reducing property tax only benefit property owners. 

    You get it now?      
    Plus he forgot that Apple takes only 15% on subscriptions after the first year.  
  • Reply 19 of 27
    urashid said:
    Kudos to Williamson County commissioners but is $16 million dollars over 15 years really an incensitve for Apple?  It seems to me that the money will be a lot more meaningful to the residents of the county.  Or is it just to show good faith / commitment?
    I take your point...it seems this is the way these things work now.

    The richest company in the world getting a $41 million incentive from money taken out of education, infrastructure, etc., from the good people of Williamson County. Hmmmmmm. Not cool! 
    These "tax incentives" aren't a check Williamson County is writing to Apple.  They are discounts on taxes that Apple will be paying--money Williamson County wouldn't have if Apple weren't going there.  Obviously WC would be better off if Apple made exactly the same decision without any sweeteners, but clearly the county officials believes that these incentives were worth it.
    This.  Not only will Williamson County be getting tax revenue directly from Apple that they wouldn't otherwise receive, they'll also be getting tax revenue from the people who work at the facility, buy homes in the area, and shop in the area.  They're not giving Apple any money, they're simply taking less than they would without the incentives.
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 20 of 27
    urashid said:
    Kudos to Williamson County commissioners but is $16 million dollars over 15 years really an incensitve for Apple?  It seems to me that the money will be a lot more meaningful to the residents of the county.  Or is it just to show good faith / commitment?
    I take your point...it seems this is the way these things work now.

    The richest company in the world getting a $41 million incentive from money taken out of education, infrastructure, etc., from the good people of Williamson County. Hmmmmmm. Not cool! 

    For some reason Americans put shareholder's rights above all other considerations. Business are continually allowed to raid public taxpayer coffers! 

    *The top one tenth of 1% (.01%) now have as much assets/wealth as the bottom 90%!

    Something is amiss, afoot, alas! :)

    *Source: Fareed Zakaria GPS: (12/16/18)
    Why do you say “Not cool”? The States compete with each other and offering incentives to land good businesses is part of that.
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