[UPDATE: Cupertino mayor Barry Chang is refuting the claims made by The Guardian, saying that he never said the words quoted in the article: “I was shocked and dismayed to see a recent article quoting me with words I never used and describing situations that never happened,” he said in a statement on the Cupertino city website.]
Cupertino mayor Barry Chang has accused Apple of ‘abusing’ its home city by failing to contribute to much-needed public projects, and claims that he was ‘surrounded’ by security and escorted off the premises when he tried to discuss traffic congestion.
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. They abuse us.
However, the Guardian notes that Apple paid $9.2M in city taxes in 2012/13 …
Apple paid $9.2m in tax revenue to Cupertino in 2012 to 2013, which was about 18% of the city’s general fund budget, according to an economic impact report. Coincidentally that was also exactly the same amount CEO Tim Cook was paid in 2014.
Chang wanted city council members to back his demand that Apple pay $100M to improve city infrastructure in the run-up to the opening of the company’s new spaceship campus. He said that he needed only a single ‘yes’ vote from the other eligible council members, but none of them would back the proposal.
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.
Chang’s attempt to obtain a large additional chunk of cash from Apple may be in response to moves to recall him from office, a local residents’ group accusing him of ‘abusive and dishonest behavior toward the public and other council members.’ Chang told the Guardian that he would not back down.
However, his view that Apple’s expansion is straining the city’s infrastructure appear to have at least some support. A petition to restrict further commercial development in the city has been signed by 2,000 supporters. Cupertino has a population of 60,000.
There are many ongoing constructions, newly completed or to be completed in the next year: Rosebowl (Nineteen800), Biltmore 2, Main Street, Apple Campus 2. The traffic condition, air quality, noise level and school impact would all be impacted significantly by these projects still in the pipeline.
Though his attempt to organize a rally outside Apple’s existing HQ was a flop.
No one wanted to go.
Chang is now trying to introduce a business employer tax that would force companies with more than 100 workers to pay $1,000 per employee. That would obviously be very expensive for Apple (and other big Cupertino employers) Apple did not respond to the Guardian‘s request for comment.