Proposed Apple Head Tax Shelved By Cupertino Council…For Now

Perhaps inspired by the brief rise and swift fall of Seattle’s head tax, resident of Cupertino, California will have to wait another 2 years to vote on a similar proposal. The so-called “Apple head tax” was similar in structure to Seattle’s. Not surprisingly, Apple wasn’t thrilled with the idea in much the same was Amazon fought against Seattle’s. 

Like many cities, Cupertino taxes businesses on their size. Literally the size of their office space. In the case of Apple, that tax bill is substantial. However, the new proposal would tax businesses based on the size of their staff.

There is more than one large business in Cupertino. However, like Amazon is to Seattle, Apple is the largest name in town. This gave rise to the “Apple head tax” moniker similar to how Seattle’s own legislation was frequently referred to as the Amazon head tax.

Due to the large number of people employed by Apple, such a change to the tax structure would increase their annual tax bill substantially. The proposed restructure would generate anywhere from $8 to $10 million annually for the city.

About $7 – $9 million of that would come from Apple.

Lukewarm Reception

The proposed tax revenue was intended to go towards addressing the city’s traffic issues. However, like Seattle’s own plan; there really wasn’t one.

“If that’s the problem we’re trying to solve, we need to first need to have a project…Once we get the project, then let’s find a way to fund it.” – Cupertino Chamber of Commerce President Andrew Walters.

Local business owners were also lukewarm on the proposal.

“Apple is 90-percent of my business….Anything that happens to Apple happens pretty much directly to me.”- Local cafe owner Daniel Vu.

After a recent special meeting, the council agreed to spend the next couple years outlining a specific spending plan for the Apple head tax. The measure may make its way to the ballot eventually, but not before 2020.

Local Taxes and Business

Areas which thrive on a single business often offer a chain reaction that trickles down to other services. When cities enact job-friendly practices, businesses tend to flock there. When the opposite occurs, the business landscape can become sparse.

Some cities, like Atlanta, are great for starting new businesses. Texas, Utah, and other locations are also offering business friendly environments or incentives. Cupertino, California isn’t on the list yet, but something like the Apple head tax could cause problems down the line for would-be business starters and entrepreneurs.

Areas with low business opportunities tend to be less desirable to live. It can also have a direct impact on available housing, cost of living, and more.

Simply put, location matters.

City vs City knows this which is why we calculate costs at the zip code level to determine an accurate look at your cost of living expenses. City vs City factors in location, housing costs, state and local taxes, transportation costs, and more.

Use City vs City to compare the cost of living in your current city with another city of your choosing. You’ll see a side by side comparison of costs and know which City can offer you a better cost of living arrangement.

If you’re thinking of moving, don’t make a move without downloading City vs City first.