For example, the mayor of Cupertino Barry Chang visited Apple to talk about traffic congestion he was told to leave by security. He has not been back for three years.
Cupertino is a town which has an aging infrastructure and booming companies whose effective tax rate is often quite low. Chang says higher taxes on the wealthy and companies such as Apple would solve the problem, but residents want him to stop allowing companies to develop sites – like Apple’s spaceship.
Chang also has problems that the some of his fellow councillors are either too frightened of Apple or been lobbied. He recently proposed that Apple should give $100m to improve city infrastructure. To move on the proposal, Chang only needed to get a single vote ‘yes’ among the three other eligible council members. He failed to get that vote.
“Apple is such a big company here. The council members don’t want to offend them. Apple talks to them, and they won’t vote against Apple. This is the fact.”
Apple’s local efforts to avoid paying higher taxes are part of a larger pattern and even Apple’s own staff are getting embarrassed about it.
Steve Wozniak, Apple’s co-founder, said the company should pay a 50% tax: “Jobs started Apple Computers for money, that was his big thing and that was extremely important and critical and good. ... [But] we didn’t think we’d be figuring out how to go off to the Bahamas and have special accounts like people do to try to hide their money.”
Apple denies using the ‘double Irish’ arrangement and insists that the it has no record of a security incident involving Barry Chang.
But residents are hacked off, and if they were not so busy taking it out on Chang’s council, they would probably be going for Apple.
“Apple is not willing to pay a dime. They’re making profit, and they should share the responsibility for our city, but they won’t.”