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Standley White

Sweet tax deal brings Apple to Reno

By August 13, 2012

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This story is a little stale, but the issue it addresses certainly isn't. The issue is giving big tax breaks to companies in order to lure them to set up shop in Nevada. In this case, Apple is getting $89 million in tax relief for investing around $1 billion in northern Nevada over the next 10 years. Their projects include a data center for their iCloud and iTune products, plus a downtown Reno business center. The data center will be built in the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center between Reno / Sparks and Fernley. The tax breaks reduce revenues for the City of Reno, Washoe County, the Washoe County School District (82% from these three), and the State of Nevada.

As reported in the Reno Gazette-Journal, analysts estimate Apple's presence will generate some $343 million in economic activity over the next decade. Construction will require about 580 workers. Around 41 full-time employees and 200 contract employees will run the place once it's built.

Both local and state economic development officials are ecstatic. They say landing a big outfit like Apple will serve to lure other technology firms to the area and offering tax breaks is necessary to compete with other locations equally interested in luring the likes of Apple.

Meanwhile, some local business owners are not pleased. They complain, and it seems rightfully so, that they pay full price on their tax bills, so what's up with giving the world's richest corporation a deal to move to town? The response from officials is that this is how it's done these days and companies like Apple would just keep shopping until they found a location willing to make a deal. The same officials contend that over the long run, it will be worth it to bring such businesses to Reno and northern Nevada.

This is just a brief summary of the story, but hopefully enough to get you thinking about the issue. Let us know what you think - should local governments give big companies big tax breaks so they will move to town?

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