A new report this weekend from the SF Chronicle highlights Apple’s push to lower its tax burden in its home county of Santa Clara in California. The report explains that Apple is the leading appealer of tax assessments in the county, with over 400 open cases since 2004.
The report says that Apple currently has 489 open tax assessment appeals since 2004. The company is disputing $8.5 billion in property value, something that is common among tech companies in Silicon Valley. Apple is the largest taxpayer in Santa Clara, paying $56 million during the 2017-2018 tax year:
In Santa Clara County, Apple is the leading appealer of tax assessments, with 489 open cases dating back to 2004, disputing $8.5 billion in property value, according to the assessor’s office. Apple is largest taxpayer in the county, paying $56 million in tax year 2017-18.
In one appeal Apple filed in 2015, it argued that a section of properties that surround Apple Park are worth just $200 – while the county valued it at $1 billion. Another appeal application reveals a property the assessor valued at $384 million, though Apple claimed it was worth $200.
In Santa Clara County, which is home to Cupertino, tech companies including Apple, Google, Sun Microsystems, and Applied Materials account for “more than half” of the $76 billion in disputed assessments, according to today’s report.
Santa Clara Assesor Larry Stone explained that the source of many disagreements is “high-tech equipment,” which is harder to assess due to complex depreciation rules.
“The sophistication of our companies and the complexity of our high-tech industries is different,” Stone said. “Machinery, equipment, computers, fixtures … all the stuff going into (the) Apple spaceship, there’s lots of money inside of it aside from land and buildings. So it can get very complicated.”
In addition to its ongoing tax assessment disputes, Apple is also facing the possibility of an employee “head tax” in Cupertino, which would see it pay an added tax per employee in the city.
Image via WSJ