Thursday, August 2, 2012

An Apple a Day...

In June, we had questions about Apple's planned data storage center for Washoe County. Now, it's starting to look like we're not the only ones.

Hill, the director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, approved the abatements worth $89 million over 10 years on Wednesday. That was after a separate meeting in which the board unanimously recommended approval of the deal.

But their role was purely advisory — a break from the way Nevada has historically given out tax breaks. [...]

There is still no contract between the state and Apple, Hill said, only a short list of terms laying out the property and sales tax abatements and conditions to which Apple has agreed.

That drew sharp questions from Secretary of State Ross Miller, a member of the board.

“It appears the board is largely ceremonial,” Miller said after the meeting. “This is a significant departure from the past.”

He took issue with the property tax provisions that could last up to 30 years.

“My daughter, who’s in kindergarten, will be my age and still subject to the deal approved today,” Miller noted.

Remember, Apple is being given $89 million worth of tax breaks. The state discounted 85% of property taxes for up to 30 years. The state also discounted all but 2% of the state sales tax for at least 4 years and up to 12 years. And Washoe County reduced Apple's effective county sales tax to a mere 0.5%. Apple got quite the sweet deal... And there's still no official contract?

Perhaps Brian Sandoval and Steve Hill think that if CCSD can try breaking a contract with teachers, they might as well try doing no contract at all with Apple?

I don't know what else to say. I'm just reminded of what I said back in June.

Let's be real here. If this were an everyday working class Nevada person getting a sweetheart deal like this, many if these same politicians would be aghast in horror as they'd be taking their queues from teabaggers screaming, "WELFARE!!!! WELFARE!!!!!" Well, where are the teabaggers to call out the corporate welfare that the State of Nevada, Washoe County, and City of Reno are about to bestow upon Apple? So "WELFARE!!!!!" is evil if it's a working poor family trying to survive in this rough economy, but it's A-O-K for a multinational corporation like Apple? Sorry, but this is the most blatant and disgusting double standard I've ever seen!

Let's be honest here. Apple struck while the iron was hot and took advantage of Brian Sandoval's willingness to cut any kind of deal to save face and show Nevada that "he means business". Apple wins in opening a new data storage facility and paying hardly any taxes on it, while California continues to lose in not being able to collect the corporate income tax it's otherwise owed. Nevada, meanwhile, continues to be satisfied with mere economic crumbs.

So we're willing to shower all this corporate welfare on Apple, but we're not willing to invest in our own people? We're willing to give Apple all the tax evasion bailouts welfare "special deals" it wants, but we're not willing to look out for our own long term economic health? Nevada, we have a problem. And it's more serious than you think.

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