Apple Avoids Taxes, Makes Profits. NYT Wants You to be Shocked.
April 29, 2012 - 9:05 am
Here’s the story, titled “Apple’s Tax Strategy Aims at Low Tax States and Nations.” At least, that’s the title in the story’s URL. On the page, it’s a bit more direct: “How Apple Sidesteps Billions in Taxes.”
There is a hint or two that Apple is pretty smart.
Apple’s headquarters are in Cupertino, Calif. By putting an office in Reno, just 200 miles away, to collect and invest the company’s profits, Apple sidesteps state income taxes on some of those gains.
California’s corporate tax rate is 8.84 percent. Nevada’s? Zero.
The company would be fools to keep its office in high-tax, business-hating California if a small office 200 miles away saves money.
There is no allegation in the story that Apple does anything illegal.But you will find a government hack behaving like a typical government hack.
In one of his last public appearances before his death, Steven P. Jobs, Apple’s chief executive, addressed Cupertino’s City Council last June, seeking approval to build a new headquarters.
Most of the Council was effusive in its praise of the proposal. But one councilwoman, Kris Wang, had questions.
How will residents benefit? she asked. Perhaps Apple could provide free wireless Internet to Cupertino, she suggested, something Google had done in neighboring Mountain View.
“See, I’m a simpleton; I’ve always had this view that we pay taxes, and the city should do those things,” Mr. Jobs replied, according to a video of the meeting. “That’s why we pay taxes. Now, if we can get out of paying taxes, I’ll be glad to put up Wi-Fi.”
He suggested that, if the City Council were unhappy, perhaps Apple could move. The company is Cupertino’s largest taxpayer, with more than $8 million in property taxes assessed by local officials last year.
Ms. Wang dropped her suggestion.
Cupertino, Ms. Wang said in an interview, has real financial problems. “We’re proud to have Apple here,” said Ms. Wang, who has since left the Council. “But how do you get them to feel more connected?”
They’re Apple. They’re far more “connected” that some local government bureaucrat. I don’t even live in Cupertino and I’m writing this post on one Apple product while there’s another Apple product in my pocket. Apple’s connectivity is not the problem. Government busybodies very much are.
The Times’ article end up showing how non-leftist the left’s favorite company really is. Apple is non-union, ruthlessly anti-tax, relentlessly innovative, and has more cash on hand than the US government.
There’s a relationship between all those things.