Austin Risks Losing Apple Expansion Over Incentive Delays

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Apple’s frustration over delays in incentive approvals for its planned 3,600 employee expansion in Austin could cause the proposal to fall apart. The county is apparently still debating the incentives the government will offer the Mac and iPad maker, and is seeking more conditions before approving the deal.

Austin Apple expansion deal could fall throughAustin Apple expansion deal could fall through

Travis County approved its incentives in principle on April 17, but has since been dragging its heals. The deal would give Apple US$35 million in incentives over a ten year period, and between $5.4 million and $6.4 million would come from the county.

Right now, however, Travis County officials are delaying their approval, putting the whole deal in peril, according to The Statesman. Without the county’s involvement, Austin and Texas won’t be able to follow through on their incentive offers.

“This deal is not done,” said Dave Porter, the Austin Chamber of Commerce senior vice president for economic development. “It remains in peril. And Apple is frustrated.”

Apple has been planning on building new office space in Austin to house some 3,600 more employees in the city. The state of Texas offered $21 million in incentives, and Austin offered to kick in an additional $8.6 million to help bring jobs to the economically stressed area.

Travis County officials have delayed their vote until next week. There isn’t any guarantee, however, that Apple will get the approval it wants since the company is still negotiating with the county.

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Comments

Michael Rubin

I am a big fan of Apple, Austin and Texas but I didn’t see any reference to this being an economically stressed area. Austin, with few exceptions, is thriving and growing. I don’t know what spin or where this statement comes from…

These are good jobs but there is wiggle room to hit the commitment.

Either way, I hope both sides work out the kinks and move forard.

ibuck

I’m also a big supporter of Apple products as well as a shareholder, but Apple is wrong on this. Tax breaks as incentives for large companies hurt local schools, road and other infrastructure maintenance and improvement, police and fire departments, and so on. They also put small businesses, who are the biggest job creators, at a disadvantage. Whether tax incentives are blackmail or quasi-legal bribes is for ethicists to decide, but we should make them illegal. They have become so pervasive that large companies have come to expect them, and government officials have been forced to cough them up. When large companies don’t pay their fair share, guess who picks up the tab? Ordinary taxpayers, and smaller businesses that have to pay higher fees for licenses, etc. Then the local small businesses that we all use have to raise prices, and we have to pay again. This extortion is bad public and community relations for Apple.

FlipFriddle

They’ll give out tax breaks for anything up here! C’mon up to Western NY Apple. We’re desperate! Want to pay no tax for decades? You’ve got it!

Besides you don’t need to cool the data center for most of the year, just leave the windows open!

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