North American tech giant Apple (News - Alert) is getting frustrated as its plan to bring some 3,600 new jobs to Austin, Texas has been delayed by the Travis County Commissioners Court, according to an article by Austin newspaper the Statesman. An incentives deal is reportedly the cause for delay.
The incentives offer was approved in principle on April 17, and was estimated that Apple would receive between $35 million and $36 million over a period of 10 to 15 years, in exchange for the tech giant moving its Americas operations center to Austin.
Of the estimated amount, $21 million would come from Texas' Enterprise Fund, $8.6 million would come directly from the city of Austin and between $5.4 million and $6.4 million would come from Travis county.
Unfortunately, the county's ongoing deliberations on the matter and calls for new conditions on its incentives deal are causing frustration for Apple, according to Dave Porter, senior vice president for economic development at the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce.
Porter's statement on the matter was succinct: "This deal is not done. It remains in peril. And Apple is frustrated."
Travis County has been considering its offer since the latter half of March and, although the Commissioners Court gave initial approval to the deal on the 17th of this month, the details of the incentives plan came up for discussion again last Tuesday.
And after hours of discussion, it was decided to put off a final vote on the incentives deal until next week.
Apple, which announced the dates of its Worldwide Developer Conference this week and was named Grand Award winner at the ninth-annual brand excellence awards earlier this month, suggests creating 3,600 new jobs in Austin over the next decade, as well as investing $304 million in the city as part of creating a major operations center in the city. The deal would be helpful to Austin and its citizens, since it would create a number of entry-level help-desk jobs and well-paying jobs for workers with about two years of college experience – less than most tech jobs typically require.
Attorney and former Travis County judge Bill Aleshire and Ed Wendler, an Austin-area developer, pointed out areas in the contract at the Commissioners Court meeting on Tuesday which would allow Apple to fall short of certain requirements set by the Court.
“I'm not sorry that Apple is frustrated,” Aleshire said in response to Porter's comments. “That's a sorry contract," adding that Apple "had it rigged so they could not comply with the contract yet end up with county staff basically renegotiating the terms that they would have to comply with."
Edited by Braden Becker