Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Mother Jones: four ways Tim Cook spins Apple's tax avoidance

Here are two, brought up during today's introduction of two new iPhones:
1. Apple's taxes are straightforward. Spin: "Apple does not use tax gimmicks." Reality: Yet somehow, according to an analysis by Citizens for Tax Justice, Apple has paid almost no income taxes to any country on its $102 billion in offshore holdings. Between 2009 and 2012, Apple avoided paying US taxes on some $74 billion in income, an amount equal to the entire budget of Florida.

3. Apple is awesome because it runs huge data centers right here in the United States. Spin: "In 2010, Apple built one of the country's largest data centers in North Carolina, and it is in the process of constructing two additional data centers in Oregon and Nevada." Reality: Apple only agreed to build the North Carolina data center after getting a $46 million state tax break, its local property taxes halved, and  local taxes on its assets slashed by 85 percent—all for creating 50 jobs. To build its data center in deficit-plagued Nevada, it extracted an $88 million state tax break, the largest in state history. And Apple chose to build a data center in Prineville, Oregon, because Oregon has no sales tax and Prineville is in a "rural enterprise zone" that offers a 15-year property tax exemption.

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