“The Silicon Valley cities that are home to Google and Apple Inc. are considering the kind of per-employee tax that Seattle recently drew criticism for imposing,” Nour Malas reports for The Wall Street Journal. “Mountain View, Calif., and nearby Cupertino are both weighing possible ballot measures this fall. Officials said the taxes could raise money to help manage local problems tied to rapid growth, including traffic and a need for affordable housing. ‘We are pursuing a more aggressive agenda to respond to our housing and transportation crises, which have both gotten significantly worse in the last year,’ said Rod Sinks, the vice mayor of Cupertino, where Apple is based.”
“Executives from both companies have in the past pointed to their engagement in community improvement efforts,” Malas reports. “Apple, for example, contributed $70 million toward traffic improvements and affordable housing in the area as part of its $5 billion project for its new corporate campus, which houses some 12,000 employees.”
“Last week, the Seattle City Council passed a measure that will tax the biggest companies in the city $275 per employee,” Malas reports. “The council scaled back a higher proposed per-employee tax after Amazon.com Inc., Seattle’s biggest employer, threatened to stop its expansion in the city and hundreds of other businesses wrote in to protest the move. Amazon said it was disappointed by the decision to impose the new tax. The company said it would resume planning for its new building in Seattle’s downtown, but it remains ‘very apprehensive about the future created by the council’s hostile approach and rhetoric toward larger businesses, which forces us to question our growth here.'”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Opportunities for less penal locales abound.
Of course, Apple’s now pretty much stuck in Cupertino with a $5 billion anchor with perfect door handles, so they’re a sitting duck for whatever confiscatory idiocy local politicians concoct.
Moral of the story: Lease your office space, don’t own it, to always keep the threat of moving in your back pocket.
Apple could get hit with employer tax in Cupertino – May 21, 2018
Amazon suspends construction in Seattle while the city considers a new per-employee tax – May 2, 2018
Apple again expands downtown Seattle engineering center – April 17, 2018
Apple rumored to be taking big piece of Seattle-area office market in expansion – August 12, 2016
Apple buys machine-learning startup Turi for $200 million – August 6, 2016
Apple quietly buys Seattle firm to expand cloud offerings – November 4, 2014