County tax incentives likely to double for Apple's new $1B Austin campus

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in General Discussion
County tax incentives for Apple's second campus in Austin, Tex. could potentially more than double a quoted $16 million estimate, a report revealed this week.

The future home of Apple's second Austin campus.
The future home of Apple's second Austin campus.


The $16 million figure was based partly on the assumption that Apple won't hit its $1 billion investment target during the 15 years of the incentive package, according to Williamson County documents seen by the Austin American-Statesman. This is despite the "$1 billion" number being a key part of Apple's announcement.

While there has been growing backlash in parts of the U.S. about using taxpayer funds to fund private business, Williamson County officials told the Statesman that in this case, they see no trouble.

"It is an increasing amount of revenue for the county no matter what the upper-end [of incentives]," said one county commissioner, Cynthia Long.

In fact the precise estimate devised by the county was $13.5 million, but $16 million was cited in a press release. Spokeswoman Connie Odom called this a mistake based on a number "thrown around by a lot of people" while trying to court Apple.

Hitting $13.5 million requires Apple to spend at least $400 million and hire 4,000 workers in exchange for annual rebates amounting to 65 percent of county property taxes. The trick is that while Williamson will only get 35 percent, property values should rise at the same time. The new campus is also being funded by $25 million from the Texas Enterprise Fund.

If Apple lives up to its word, the new Austin campus -- located a short distance from the current one -- should span 133 acres and employ 5,000 more people, adding to about 6,200 existing workers and making Apple the biggest private employer in the city, despite companies like Dell and Whole Foods having their headquarters in the area.

Construction on the complex is slated to begin sometime this year. The scale of the project, though, means that workers won't move in for another 30 to 36 months. At the moment the West Parmer Lane space is mostly trees and scrubland, though scouting may already be in progress.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 4
    $16 million dollars in incentives for a billion dollars of investments is like the 1% or 2% cash back incentives for using a particular credit card.  Hardly something to get too excited about.  And hardly on the scale of the Amazon HQ2 circus.
  • Reply 2 of 4
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,124member
    I'm always against any tax breaks for any company. I think it's completely unfair and un-american. Any tax breaks if anything so be applied to everyone or no one. You want businesses to come to you, just lower your taxes for all. The fact is, when one of these big company's moves into the neighborhood, Housing prices skyrocket. Roads get plugged up. Then want to raise taxes some other way to pay for new roads and other things because of this large company moving it. So they get a break and everyone else gets screwed. They should pay their fair share as everyone else.
    lordjohnwhorfinairnerdnetrox
  • Reply 3 of 4
    netroxnetrox Posts: 740member
    jbdragon said:
    I'm always against any tax breaks for any company. I think it's completely unfair and un-american. Any tax breaks if anything so be applied to everyone or no one. You want businesses to come to you, just lower your taxes for all. The fact is, when one of these big company's moves into the neighborhood, Housing prices skyrocket. Roads get plugged up. Then want to raise taxes some other way to pay for new roads and other things because of this large company moving it. So they get a break and everyone else gets screwed. They should pay their fair share as everyone else.
    I agree its unfiar but where there's a system, exploit it.
  • Reply 4 of 4
    jbdragon said:
    I'm always against any tax breaks for any company. I think it's completely unfair and un-american. Any tax breaks if anything so be applied to everyone or no one. You want businesses to come to you, just lower your taxes for all. The fact is, when one of these big company's moves into the neighborhood, Housing prices skyrocket. Roads get plugged up. Then want to raise taxes some other way to pay for new roads and other things because of this large company moving it. So they get a break and everyone else gets screwed. They should pay their fair share as everyone else.
    There’s nothing wrong with competition and competition for large businesses which will end up employing a lot of people in a State are theoretically fine as long as the people who pay the taxes in those States are generally in favor.
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