Apple’s plan to expand its Austin, Texas, operation is endangered after an attorney calls a contract with Apple “rigged,” reports “CNET.”
Last month the “Phoenix Business Journal” (http://macte.ch/nPz1m) reported that the Austin City Council was expected to approve an US$8.6 million incentive package for Apple as part of a larger $33.5 million incentive and tax break package to bring a $304 million company expansion to Texas, reports the “Phoenix Business Journal” (http://macte.ch/nPz1m).
Now, speaking to the Austin-based “Statesman” newspaper, Dave Porter, senior vice president for economic development at the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, said that the deal between the city and Apple is not done, and “remains in peril.” Porter went on to tell the newspaper that Apple is now “frustrated” with the recent developments.
Last week, Travis County commissioners approved in principle the incentives that would be offered to Apple to come to Austin, pending a full vote earlier this week. Before that vote could happen, however, several commissioners and other stakeholders expressed concern with the contract, saying that the $35 million to $36 million in incentives Apple would receive didn’t do enough to protect Austin, notes “CNET.”
“[Apple] had it rigged so they could not comply with the contract yet end up with county staff basically renegotiating the terms that they would have to comply with,” Bill Aleshire, an attorney and former Travis County judge who reportedly spoke out against the contract at the Commissioners’ hearing earlier this week, told the “Statesman.” “I just thought that was a major flaw. It showed up in several ways in several places.”
The Austin commissions have pushed a vote on the project back until next week. In early March Gov. Rick Perry today announced that Apple will expand its presence in Texas with an US$304 million investment in a new campus in Austin that will create more than 3,600 new jobs.
The new campus — if it is built — will more than double the size of Apple’s workforce in Texas over the next decade, supporting the company’s growing operations in the Americas with expanded customer support, sales and accounting functions for the region. In exchange for Apple’s commitment to create these new jobs in Texas, the state has offered Apple an investment of $21 million over ten years through the Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF).
“Apple is known for its bold innovation and game-changing designs, and the expansion of their Austin facility adds to the growing list of visionary high-tech companies that have found that Texas’ economic climate is a perfect fit for their future, thanks to our low taxes, reasonable and predictable regulations, fair legal system and skilled workforce” Gov. Perry said. “Investments like this further Texas’ potential to become the nation’s next high-tech hub.”
Read more at http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-57422803-37/apples-texas-move-in-peril-after-attorney-calls-contract-rigged/?part=rss&subj=news&tag=title .