Silicon Valley city backs off tax idea after Apple pushback


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CUPERTINO, Calif. (AP) — A Silicon Valley city council has backed off a ballot measure levying a per-employee tax on companies after pushback from the city's largest employer, Apple Inc.

The Cupertino City Council on Tuesday voted to wait until 2020 to put the issue to voters, The Mercury News of San Jose reported. The proposal would have generated up to $10 million a year to relieve traffic. Apple employs 24,000.

Apple official Mike Foulkes on Tuesday offered to work with Cupertino to devise long-term solutions to the city's traffic woes. Mountain View officials placed a similar measure on the November ballot, with no public objection by Google. The proposal would generate $6 million for transit and housing.

But Seattle repealed a similar tax proposal after strong opposition from Amazon and other large employers. The Seattle City Council members voted in June to roll back a tax on large companies that was meant to fight a growing homelessness crisis.

The vote showed Amazon's ability to aggressively push back on government taxes, especially in its affluent hometown where it's the largest employer with more than 45,000 workers and where it has been criticized for contributing to a widening income gap.

In Seattle, the tax was proposed as a progressive revenue source aimed at tackling one of the nation's highest homelessness numbers, a problem that hasn't eased even as city spending on the issue grew.

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