Apple rethinks expansion in hi-tech and politically liberal Austin, Texas

David Paulin
Apple is reportedly rethinking its expansion plans in Austin, Texas, having grown upset with what it considers are unnecessary delays in getting economic incentives approved that it had wanted. Officials in liberal Travis County had, among other things, proposed that Apple hire a certain percentage of "economically disadvantaged" local residents in exchange for giving Apple millions of dollars in tax breaks. ( See: Dems to Apple: Hire the 'economically disadvantaged')

Now, the hi-tech giant has apparently realized that Austin and Travis County are not as business friendly as the rest of Texas. As the Austin-American Statesman reports:

Apple Inc.'s plan to bring 3,600 new jobs to Austin is "in peril" and the giant computer company is growing frustrated with delays in approving an incentives deal by the Travis County Commissioners Court, according to one of the key players in the local recruitment of the company.

Dave Porter, senior vice president for economic development at the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, said Thursday that Apple's plans to bring its Americas operations center to Austin are up in the air because of the county's continuing deliberations and calls for new conditions on its incentives deal with the company.

"This deal is not done. It remains in peril. And Apple is frustrated," Porter said.

Officials in Travis County had all but given a green-light to Apple on April 17, okaying millions of dollars in tax breaks. Travis County commissioners had even stopped their talk of requiring Apple to hire a certain percentage of residents at or below the poverty line. Apple, it seemed, had turned a cold shoulder to the idea as talks dragged on.

One Travis County Commissioner, Democrat Sarah Eckhardt, nevertheless rebuked Apple for pursing its "economic interest," as the Statesman had put it, during that April 17 meeting.

In Austin, Apple has been looking to double its business support operations, thereby creating 3,600 new jobs over the next decade while investing $304 million, according to the Statesman. The new facilities would create a major operations center for most of its operations in North and South America.

Apple also has reportedly been looking at Phoenix as a possible site for its business support operations -- a city whose officials no doubt won't be floating the idea that Apple hire poor people for its hi-tech positions.

Apple is reportedly rethinking its expansion plans in Austin, Texas, having grown upset with what it considers are unnecessary delays in getting economic incentives approved that it had wanted. Officials in liberal Travis County had, among other things, proposed that Apple hire a certain percentage of "economically disadvantaged" local residents in exchange for giving Apple millions of dollars in tax breaks. ( See: Dems to Apple: Hire the 'economically disadvantaged')

Now, the hi-tech giant has apparently realized that Austin and Travis County are not as business friendly as the rest of Texas. As the Austin-American Statesman reports:

Apple Inc.'s plan to bring 3,600 new jobs to Austin is "in peril" and the giant computer company is growing frustrated with delays in approving an incentives deal by the Travis County Commissioners Court, according to one of the key players in the local recruitment of the company.

Dave Porter, senior vice president for economic development at the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, said Thursday that Apple's plans to bring its Americas operations center to Austin are up in the air because of the county's continuing deliberations and calls for new conditions on its incentives deal with the company.

"This deal is not done. It remains in peril. And Apple is frustrated," Porter said.

Officials in Travis County had all but given a green-light to Apple on April 17, okaying millions of dollars in tax breaks. Travis County commissioners had even stopped their talk of requiring Apple to hire a certain percentage of residents at or below the poverty line. Apple, it seemed, had turned a cold shoulder to the idea as talks dragged on.

One Travis County Commissioner, Democrat Sarah Eckhardt, nevertheless rebuked Apple for pursing its "economic interest," as the Statesman had put it, during that April 17 meeting.

In Austin, Apple has been looking to double its business support operations, thereby creating 3,600 new jobs over the next decade while investing $304 million, according to the Statesman. The new facilities would create a major operations center for most of its operations in North and South America.

Apple also has reportedly been looking at Phoenix as a possible site for its business support operations -- a city whose officials no doubt won't be floating the idea that Apple hire poor people for its hi-tech positions.