Apple promises to pay Cupertino $9.7M for transport projects in exchange for delaying tax ...

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Apple is proposing to pay $9.7 million towards eco-friendly transportation projects in Cupertino after the city agreed to delay tax changes that could have cost it $9 million per year.

Apple's budget injection would specifically go towards bikeways, trails, sidewalk upgrades, and traffic and pedestrian safety improvements, said The Mercury News. The biggest of five projects, valued at $4.63 million, would be bikeways along McClellan Road coupled with better sidewalks and a new signal light at the intersection of McClellan and DeAnza -- just down the road from Apple's 1 Infinite Loop campus.

Bird's Xiaomi scooter


The company scrambled into action last year, when the city began considering switching a business license tax from one based on square footage to the number of workers a business employs. The money could've potentially added $10 million to Cupertino's annual budget, most of that coming from Apple -- the iPhone maker dominates the city, employing some 24,000 people. Indeed much of the area's traffic congestion can be linked to Apple commuters going to Infinite Loop or Apple Park.

The city is now postponing a ballot measure until 2020, specifically with the aim of getting Apple and other businesses' private funding towards alleviating traffic. Government staff have reportedly been meeting with Apple representatives "once every two weeks" since October.

Some Cupertino council members have criticized the situation, noting that a one-time payment of $9.7 million doesn't compare against $10 million per year, and that the planned projects don't directly target vehicle traffic, instead assuming people will take alternate means of transportation such as bikes, scooters, and boards.

Vice Mayor Liang Chao has called for city staff involving the council more closely in talks with Apple, and asked whether the company might be willing to swap some projects out for car thoroughfare improvements. Chao and council member Darcy Paul have also proposed Apple putting money towards a community shuttle that would connect destinations with transportation hubs.

"Apple was interested in bike and pedestrian improvements...it's not that every need the city has, you go and ask them for money," Mayor Steven Scharf commented, later responding to Chao by saying "I think they've decided how much they want to donate."

Whether or not the council actually accepts Apple's offer will be decided in a later vote.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 21
    jimh2jimh2 Posts: 137member
    No other word to describe this than shakedown. Cupertino is biting the hand that feeds them. Most cities would kill to have Apple with their thousands of highly compensated employees living and spending their money in and around town. Politicians have no shame.
  • Reply 2 of 21
    Cesar Battistini MazieroCesar Battistini Maziero Posts: 166unconfirmed, member
    jimh2 said:
    No other word to describe this than shakedown. Cupertino is biting the hand that feeds them. Most cities would kill to have Apple with their thousands of highly compensated employees living and spending their money in and around town. Politicians have no shame.
    No shame indeed!
  • Reply 3 of 21
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,884member
    jimh2 said:
    No other word to describe this than shakedown. Cupertino is biting the hand that feeds them. Most cities would kill to have Apple with their thousands of highly compensated employees living and spending their money in and around town. Politicians have no shame.
    Yep. Wait until they build and occupy their brand new headquarters and then start passing laws to penalize them for doing so.
  • Reply 4 of 21
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,060member
    To be honest cities spend a lot of money for fire and police protection, utilities, roads and infrastructure that support these large companies and their employees so suggesting they pay more isn’t necessarily a “shakedown”. And it looks like Cupertino and Apple have a working relationship strong enough to produce a win-win solution.
    mdriftmeyer
  • Reply 5 of 21
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,612member
    lkrupp said:
    To be honest cities spend a lot of money for fire and police protection, utilities, roads and infrastructure that support these large companies and their employees so suggesting they pay more isn’t necessarily a “shakedown”. And it looks like Cupertino and Apple have a working relationship strong enough to produce a win-win solution.

    Apple is the largest taxpayer in Cupertino.  This is Cupertino trying to move the goalposts after the score was made.
  • Reply 6 of 21
    seankillseankill Posts: 467member
    Good to see a very liberal company pay for its ideology. As the old saying goes, put your money where your mouth is. 

    (Don’t worry, I have plenty of complaints for both sides of politics). 
  • Reply 7 of 21
    auxioauxio Posts: 1,987member
    sflocal said:
    lkrupp said:
    To be honest cities spend a lot of money for fire and police protection, utilities, roads and infrastructure that support these large companies and their employees so suggesting they pay more isn’t necessarily a “shakedown”. And it looks like Cupertino and Apple have a working relationship strong enough to produce a win-win solution.

    Apple is the largest taxpayer in Cupertino.  This is Cupertino trying to move the goalposts after the score was made.
    Just as companies need to assess their business model periodically to ensure it's sustainable and make adjustments accordingly, so do governments.  Public infrastructure and services cost money to provide, and those costs increase with inflation and population growth.  It sounds like the government is working closely with Apple to ensure they understand this isn't some random cash grab, but going towards projects which will benefit their employees (and their bottom line if they can reduce commute times).
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 8 of 21
    larz2112larz2112 Posts: 282member
    jimh2 said:
    No other word to describe this than shakedown. Cupertino is biting the hand that feeds them. Most cities would kill to have Apple with their thousands of highly compensated employees living and spending their money in and around town. Politicians have no shame.
    Meh, to me this is par for the course. Corporations do their fair share of manipulating government for their own financial benefit. Companies negotiate for tax breaks and incentives in exchange for bringing their business to a city. They find loopholes in tax codes to avoid or defer paying taxes. They hire lobbyists to influence politicians and push for legislation that may not be in the best interest of the general public, but will significantly benefit their company or industry. I file this under "politics as usual" (see also: "business as usual").
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 9 of 21
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 657member
    If Apple gets to choose which eco projects it funds in lieu of taxes you can be sure it will pick projects that benefit its own employees.
  • Reply 10 of 21
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,698member
    A business license tax from one based on square footage to the number of workers a business
    Unbeliveably stupid. Only a lawyer would think that a well designed tax. The lesson for companies is to reduce employment in jurisdictions that impose such appallingly designed taxes. A tax on employing somebody. Unbelievable.
    lkrupp said:
    To be honest cities spend a lot of money for fire and police protection, utilities, roads and infrastructure that support these large companies and their employees so suggesting they pay more isn’t necessarily a “shakedown”. And it looks like Cupertino and Apple have a working relationship strong enough to produce a win-win solution.
    Yes, if that was all they did they wouldn’t have to come up with endlessly new ways to grind their boot on their constituents’ faces.  It is because these governments have too many vanity projects using OPM. Most of them probably don’t treat those basics with any thought whatsoever until the discover they need funding. Instead, must have that Sister City project! And that European export promotion junket! How about running a special day for your [increasingly atomised] identity group? 

    That Cupertino waited until the spaceship was built and occupied to put up this tax proposal is the very definition of a shakedown to me. Anti business. Anti employment. 

    The lesson is not to do business in Cupertino.
  • Reply 11 of 21
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,698member

    larz2112 said:
    jimh2 said:
    No other word to describe this than shakedown. Cupertino is biting the hand that feeds them. Most cities would kill to have Apple with their thousands of highly compensated employees living and spending their money in and around town. Politicians have no shame.
    Meh, to me this is par for the course. Corporations do their fair share of manipulating government for their own financial benefit. Companies negotiate for tax breaks and incentives in exchange for bringing their business to a city. They find loopholes in tax codes to avoid or defer paying taxes. They hire lobbyists to influence politicians and push for legislation that may not be in the best interest of the general public, but will significantly benefit their company or industry. I file this under "politics as usual" (see also: "business as usual").
    The solution to your concern is to prevent corporations getting into bed with politicians.  These kinds of market manipulations benefit established players, and create barriers for new entrants to markets. That suits established corporations.  Ban lobbying, ban PACs, ban earmarking legislation, and the world would be a better place.  

    That at is not what is going on here though.  This is just parasitic government being too focussed on the thought of what they can do with the money from new revenue sources rather than thinking about the likely changes to employer behaviour  induced by the design of their new tax. A tax on employing people.
    edited April 3 JWSC
  • Reply 12 of 21
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,259member
    Stop pissing in the wind about Apple having to pay taxes. They have long since avoided > $100 billion in off-shore shell games. This amount is peanuts. Infrastructure is a constant upgrade problem. They most certainly benefitted from all the tax delays while the area was torn up and traffic rerouted in an abysmally crowded zone. They ow it and will gladly pay for it.
    larz2112chemengin
  • Reply 13 of 21
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,698member
    It isn’t just Apple (or any other big corporate for that matter,  bogey man that they are) that has to pay this tax you know. It is an example of a bad tax. If a tax rises with every extra person one employs, you are less likely to employ more people. 
  • Reply 14 of 21
    spice-boyspice-boy Posts: 813member
    jimh2 said:
    No other word to describe this than shakedown. Cupertino is biting the hand that feeds them. Most cities would kill to have Apple with their thousands of highly compensated employees living and spending their money in and around town. Politicians have no shame.
    Here's some words, paying back. How many billions has Apple earned being located in Silicon Valley? The climate, entrenched brain magnet have benefited Apple. Meanwhile I can only imagine what it would cost to buy a home, does a middle class even exist in this city? Cupternino has been very good to you, Apple Pay UP ™
    chemengin
  • Reply 15 of 21
    spice-boyspice-boy Posts: 813member
    Boo hoo Apple has to pay taxes.
    chemengin
  • Reply 16 of 21
    puggslypuggsly Posts: 24member
    lkrupp said:
    To be honest cities spend a lot of money for fire and police protection, utilities, roads and infrastructure that support these large companies and their employees so suggesting they pay more isn’t necessarily a “shakedown”. And it looks like Cupertino and Apple have a working relationship strong enough to produce a win-win solution.
    You have got to be kidding me! Apple got approval from the city. It did the traffic impact studies and made an agreement that was solid enough that they decided to spend 5 Billion dollars to build a new office. This represents about 50 million dollars a year in new property taxes for the City to help pay for fire police etc.. Not to mention the 24,000 people who are buying homes, paying taxes and doing business in the city which creates more jobs, more tax revenue etc....

    They moved into that building less than 2 years ago, so although I agree that things can change it seems like a money grab to change the rules this quickly after such a HUGE investment in the city was completed.
    JFC_PA
  • Reply 17 of 21
    iOS_Guy80iOS_Guy80 Posts: 151member
    When the city approved Apple Park no one saw this coming? Yep collect more money from Apple for the city to alleviate traffic. Unfortunately those funds will find their way into the general fund to pay for insurance, health benefits, pensions and other bureaucratic “pet” projects. Make a deal with Lyft and Uber to provide discounted gift cards for ride sharing. 
  • Reply 18 of 21
    chelinchelin Posts: 59member
    mike1 said:
    jimh2 said:
    No other word to describe this than shakedown. Cupertino is biting the hand that feeds them. Most cities would kill to have Apple with their thousands of highly compensated employees living and spending their money in and around town. Politicians have no shame.
    Yep. Wait until they build and occupy their brand new headquarters and then start passing laws to penalize them for doing so.
    It is already built 
  • Reply 19 of 21
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,087member
    Makes one wonder why in the world Apple (a company which likely pays far more taxes than any other company in Cupertino) has not yet installed a puppet regime in their local government to avoid this escalating game of shakedowns. Also I wonder what in the world were they thinking when they turned their monument to Steve Jobs office building into the permanent corporate residence. They should’ve moved out of California YEARS AGO.
  • Reply 20 of 21
    airnerdairnerd Posts: 662member
    so a large, well run company wants to delay a tax change to instead use roughly the same amount to fund specific and well thought out projects?  

    I see no issues with that.  Better than dropping $9M on the local gov't that may decide instead to use that money for bringing in a competitor, wasting it on consultant reports, or just pissing it away.  I don't think gov't is ALWAYS wasteful, but when you can 100% fund specific and much needed projects that seems like a win for everyone.  Company gets more bang for their buck, the community gets improvements, and taxpayers aren't on the hook for them.  
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