Apple staring down possibility of new per-employee tax in Cupertino

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Apple's home city of Cupertino is considering a per-employee tax to generate funds for city infrastructure, and the tech giant might be among those companies impacted by the regulations.

Cupertino's town manager David Brandt said to the San Francisco Chronicle that the city is modeling its new effort on one in Google's Mountain View and another that was just imposed in Seattle. In the latter, businesses that make $20 million or more a year are charged $275 per employee.

The Mountain View proposal which would be levied on Google isn't a linear increase per head. Google's share would be around $10 million with deductions applied to companies that invest in the city's facilities and mass transportation systems.

The effort isn't a done deal, though. In both Mountain View and Cupertino, the city councils would need to approve the measure before it goes to the voters — who could shoot it down as well.

Increased taxation in the form of a per-person tax has its opponents.

"While it might feel good for some to take a whack at big job creators," Bay Area Council CEO Jim Wunderman wrote, "Such taxes will only undermine our region's long-term economic health and competitiveness."

Proponents include Councilman Barry Chang. He pushed for a headcount tax when he was mayor of Cupertino in 2017, angling for a $1,000 per head tax on large companies. The effort was staunchly opposed and ultimately failed.

Apple has not responded to requests for comment on the matter.