Apple is by far Cupertino’s biggest and most recognizable employer, but the city’s new mayor has accused the tech giant of not pulling its weight when it comes to taxes.
Mayor Barry Chang, who’s only been on the job since December, is wasting no time in pursuit of his mission to get Apple to pay more taxes. He’s slated the local council for apparently cozying up to Apple, and even gotten himself booted out of Apple’s HQ on one occasion after turning up uninvited.
Chang previously proposed getting Apple to donate $100 million to improve the city’s infrastructure, only for the plan to be shot down by the council. “Apple is such a big company here,” he said. “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 paid $1.9 million in tax revenue to Cupertino in 2012 to 2013, accounting for about 18 percent of the city’s general fund budget. However, Chang’s plans to get businesses with more than 100 employees to pay an extra $1,000 per person don’t seem to be winning him too many friends in high places (iPlaces?).
“Apple is not willing to pay a dime,” he said. “They’re making profit, and they should share the responsibility for our city, but they won’t. They abuse us.”
When he was kicked out of Apple HQ, Chang had turned up to talk about traffic congestion, only to be escorted out immediately by Apple security. “They said ‘you cannot come in, you’re not invited.’ After that I left and have not gone back,” Chang said.
“Look at the system we have here: The rich people get more richer and the poor cannot survive,” he added. “Where’s the fairness? Nowhere.”
This isn’t the first time Apple has been accused of dodging taxes. Recently, company co-founder Steve Wozniak told the BBC that he believes Apple should pay upward of 50 percent of everything it makes in taxes. Apple has also been the subject of a long EU investigation into its tax affairs.
Apple, for its part, has always been insistent that it pays every cent that it owes. During last year’s “Inside Apple” episode of 60 Minutes, Tim Cook labeled reports that Apple doesn’t pay its taxes “total political crap.” In the same interview, Cook also railed against the idea of U.S. tax codes built for the industrial age instead of the digital age.
What do you think? Is Cupertino’s mayor right to stand up against one of the world’s biggest and most powerful corporations, or is this an attempt to squeeze more money out of an organization that already generates a massive amount of money for the U.S.? Leave your comments below.
Source: The Guardian