Previously, on "The Tale of Apple in Mesa" ...
- Lawmakers created a tax break for manufacturing plants.
- It made fiscal sense. Manufacturing jobs make positive economic ripple effects for the whole state.
- Apple will locate a "command center" in Mesa; it will not be a manufacturing plant.
Now, Arizona state legislators are floating bills to give away piles of tax money to Apple, Inc. to entice the international giant to locate here.
In fact, you could say they are bending over backwards to please APPLE.
PRO: Apple is talking about 150 jobs.
- Con: 150 jobs is not a very big deal. ...
- .. It's not a very big help to our economy. It's nice, but what kind of jobs? ASU's Arnold Maltz says that at least some of these jobs will be high level management jobs, possibly at the VP level.
- Ask your legislators, "What assurances do we have that Apple will bring in Jobs with High Pay?
- Con: Hoping is nice, but I'd prefer to have it in writing. (Click to read Phx Biz Journal article)
PRO: Apple is a big company. One of the most successful companies in the world. We want Apple in Arizona.
- Con: at any price? At what point is the price too high? Ask your legislators.
- Con: This project would cost us far more than $83,000 per job. !!!
- $12.5 million in energy tax cuts / 150 jobs = $83k per job. But there is more than $12 million in tax breaks.
- PRO: In Austin, Apple started with several hundred jobs, and grew to more than 3,000 jobs. Getting some high-level Apple employees here improves the likelihood of future projects being located here.
- Con: Are there any accountability measures set up to assure taxpayers get a return on this investment?
- Con: The incentives are far more than $12.5 million. Apple will also receive tax cuts on property taxes, and grants from the state for being a data center and for job training. (Click to read Mike Sunnucks' article about the breaks.)
- PRO: The Arizona Commerce Authority is charged with certifying the Apple facility qualifies for the tax breaks.
- Con: It's a secret. The bill "makes sure no details of the Apple center are made public." !! What? ! Read the bills, or read Mike Sunnucks' article.
I am all in favor of using carefully crafted incentives to foster economic growth. Two problems with this:
1- I don't see a lot of "carefulness."
2- Transparency and accountability are not exactly keystones of the arrangement.
You must have plenty of questions. I do. Stay posted. I'll keep you apprised as I learn more. Please leave your comments and questions below!
Watch for HB2670 to be heard in the Appropriations Committee, but for now, that committee's agenda is focused on budget bills.