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How Austin landed the Apple deal

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It takes a village to build a tech hub

Courtesy of Apple

Inexpensive talent, an abundance of land, and a low cost of living—all of those things being relative to, say, Silicon Valley—were likely the main drivers behind Apple’s decision, announced Thursday, to expand its Austin presence significantly with a new $1 billion facility. Nevertheless, the kinds of incentives often crucial to luring big tech, while not on par with the sometimes ludicrous lures cast by some cities in hopes of landing Amazon’s HQ2, are not completely absent from the deal.

While the 2012 deal for the first Austin Apple campus involved the commitment of an estimated $36 million in combined incentives from the state, Travis County, and the city, according to the Austin American-Statesman, the new campus will receive no financial incentives from the city of Austin.

That doesn’t mean taxpayer money isn’t involved, however. The company is set to receive up to $25 million in taxpayer-funded grants from the state’s Texas Enterprise Fund, which offers companies incentives to close deals on major projects in the state, the Statesman reported. TEC funds, which are currently controlled by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, are allocated based on a formula involving investment and job creation at the site.

In addition, according to a Friday Community Impact story, Apple is seeking a 15-year property tax abatement from Williamson County, which encompasses part of North Austin, including the area where the campus will be located. Under the agreement being considered, CI reported, the county would abate or reimburse 65 percent of its taxes for 15 years in exchange for Apple’s $400 million purchase of the land, development of the campus, and the creation of 4,000 new jobs.

Apple plans $1 billion new campus, 5,000 more jobs [AAS]

Williamson County pursuing 15-year incentive deal for new Apple campus in Austin [CI]