“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:
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