Apple offers $9.7 million for transportation projects in Cupertino

“Apple is offering to spend $9.7 million on five bike and pedestrian-oriented transportation projects, a proposal by the company after the city council agreed last July to put off changes to the business license tax that would have cost Apple $9 million a year,” Thy Vo reports for The Mercury News. “Apple approached the city after a proposal last year to change the city’s business license tax from a flat fee with a progressive rate based on total square footage, to a tax based on the number of people a business employs. The change would have generated $10 million in annual revenue, most which would have come from Apple, the city’s largest employer with 24,000 workers.”

“The city decided to postpone a ballot measure to change the business tax until 2020, giving them time to work with Apple and other businesses on private funding to relieve commuter traffic. City staff have been meeting with Apple representatives once every two weeks since October. Some council members, however, weren’t impressed by what Apple came up with,” Vo reports. “‘I have to say, I’m a little disappointed at the funding level. When we were considering the tax, the city would have gotten $10 million in ongoing income,’ said Vice Mayor Liang Chao. Chao also questioned why all the funding is going toward bike and pedestrian projects rather than efforts to relieve vehicle traffic.”

“‘Apple was interested in bike and pedestrian improvements…it’s not that every need the city has, you go and ask them for money,’ said Mayor Steven Scharf,” Vo reports. “Interim Public Works director Roger Lee said while the money Apple is willing to donate would be for bike and pedestrian improvements, their donation frees up other dollars that could be used to improve vehicle congestion. The council will vote at a later date on whether to accept the funding from Apple.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote last summer:

Although they have a long history of doing so, Cupertino really should stop electing the mentally challenged.

Unfortunately, Apple’s now a sitting duck… er, goose for such obscene money grabs. After all, it’s not like they’re going to abandon their brand new $5+ billion glass doughnut, The Colossal Distraction, with its so-perfect-there-was-no-time-left-for-core-products door handles. Shortsighted Cupertino City Councilpeople could enact and ratchet up taxes on Apple ad infinitum if they so desire – and, obviously, they desire. Very much so. Other people’s money. To waste. As usual.

Should their latest tax grab attempt pass, we’re sure the Cupertino City Council will spend every cent on “reducing congestion.” (dripping sarcasm)

Moral of the story: Lease your office space, don’t own it, to always keep the threat of moving in your back pocket.

Apple and Apple employees already pay beaucoup taxes on everything from sales to income tax and they support every business in Cupertino from furniture and restaurants to real estate sales and contractors.

Years ago, Steve Jobs educated a Cupertino City Councilperson on taxes:

SEE ALSO:
By driving Amazon HQ2 away, New York City has sent a terrible signal to businesses worldwide – February 16, 2019
New York City will lose the bulk of the 25,000 jobs that were promised as Amazon pulls HQ2 due to local opposition – February 14, 2019
Apple takes issue with Cupertino’s proposed employer tax grab – July 31, 2018
Apple could get hit with employer tax in Cupertino – May 21, 2018
Cupertino Barry Chang mayor: Apple ‘abuses us’ by not paying taxes – May 5, 2016
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

7 Comments

  1. Cupertino came knocking at the door with an empty cup. Someone took the cup and passed it around, only it was way to small, so they got a big rubbermaid trash bin and started passing that around, another checked the couch for change, and put that into the trash bin and they gave it back. With 9.7 mill.

  2. How about Apple let Cupertino fix their own transportation issues they allow the Apple facility to be built in the first place. Apple how about you put that 9,.700,000+ a whole bunch more into address and keyboard issue on your shitty MacBooks

  3. MDN: do you realize that most Apple employees are commuters who consume city services but do not pay city taxes? The city taxpayers are mostly non-Apple employees who are being priced out of their homes because the affordable home they bought twenty years ago (and can not afford to replace) now demands more in taxes and insurance than they have income.

    Have you any notion what high tech has done to places like Cupertino, Seattle, and Austin? I used to be able to drive from the outer suburbs to anyplace in Austin within 30 minutes. I now budget over an hour—outside rush hour—and am still frequently late. One local toll road 11 miles long that opened with a 25 cent demand-driven toll was charging $14.77 one day last week.

    These communities are mostly at the statutory ceiling for general taxation already. Without some alternative sources of revenue, they will simply cease to be habitable when the infrastructure collapses

  4. You can’t beat congestion by making it easier for people to drive. Make it easier and safer to walk and ride and more people will instead of driving, thus reducing cars on the road. The council should take the deal.

    1. Perhaps, emmayche, but most of the people who live and shop in the city and therefore pay city taxes do live within walking, cycling, and public transit distance. If you get them off the roads it will make more room for the commuters. Oddly enough, most city governments are more interested in taxpayers and voters than in other people.

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