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Apple’s proposed expansion into Austin making progress

Apple Inc. still could receive up to 80 percent in property tax rebates—estimated at around $7 million—from Travis County for agreeing to hire 3,600 people and building a 1 million-square-foot facility near Parmer Lane at Delcour Drive in Northwest Austin. Apple Campus in Austin Apple Inc.'s proposed new campus would be located on 38.81 acres of vacant land the company owns on West Parmer Lane and Delcour Drive. Related Austin City Council approves $8.6M Apple incentive agreement Council members discuss one of 'deals of the decade' with Apple Apple to create 3,600 new jobs in Austin County commissioners voted 4-0 on March 27 to direct staff to construct a draft agreement outlining provisions that Apple would have to agree on before the Cupertino, Calif.–based received the rebates. Travis County Judge Samuel Biscoe said staff would likely use the City of Austin's agreement, which City Council approved March 22, as a starting point for the county's agreement. He said provisions may include the amount of jobs Apple must add with requirements about what percentage of new employees must be residents of Travis County and the amount of money the company would have to invest in real property. “We keep hearing we don't have to do anything,” Biscoe said. “[County staff] have been making commitments since February.” Biscoe said county staff has been discussing an incentive of 80 percent in tax rebates for the first 10 years for any improvements, such as building a new facility, that Apple would make on the 38 acres the company owns near its existing campus at 12545 Riata Vista Circle. The commissioners are also considering a point system to determine the amount of tax rebates to give Apple. Biscoe said that under this system, Apple would receive a certain number of points for each provision the company meets, such as hiring 3,600 new employees or hiring a percentage of those employees from Travis County. “If they don't comply, they could lose part or all of their rebates,” Biscoe said. If both the city and county approve financial incentives, Apple is eligible to receive $21 million from the Texas Enterprise Fund, which is designed to attract businesses to the state. The commissioners plan to discuss the draft agreement at their April 3 meeting. by Amy Denney March 28, 2012

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