Along with Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval and Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve, Apple CEO Tim Cook surprised us all with his appearance at the groundbreaking of the new data center in Downtown Reno.
Image courtesy of Las Vegas Review Journal
The new $4 million warehouse is a small extension of Apple’s already wide footprint on the Reno area. The company has announced plans to invest $350 billion in the U.S. economy over the next five years, including doubling the size of its $1 billion data center east of Reno.
“We are pleased to be part of transforming downtown Reno to the vibrant city it should be,” Cook said at the ceremony. “Our commitment to Reno and Northern Nevada is representative of the commitments we’ve made throughout the U.S.”
Cook predicts that the company’s five-year plan will generate 20,000 Apple jobs and include more than $10 billion for projects like the data center in Washoe County. Due to the tax reform bill signed in December, Apple plans to bring back most of its roughly $252 billion in offshore cash which will lead to a tax bill of about $38 billion. Cook promised the company would do this only if it could avoid being taxed at the 35% rate that the previous law required. Apple estimates that about $75 billion of the $350 billion in U.S. investments will be paid from money that had been overseas.
For companies who would like to bring that overseas money back to U.S. soil, they will only be taxed at a 15.5% rate – below the new 21% rate for U.S. corporate profits under the new law.
Apple’s downtown warehouse plans were announced last May, around the same time that they announced the plans to expand their data center by $1 billion. They will hire 100 permanent workers and double the workforce, along with providing around 300 temporary construction jobs.
The data center is just 5 years old and located in the Reno Technology Center, just in between the city of Reno and the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center (where Tesla’s Gigafactory makes its home). The new Apple warehouse will be used to ship equipment to the expanding facility. When Apple committed to building the data center in 2012, they were awarded $89 million in state property and sales tax abatements. Governor Sandoval pegged this data center as the first major economic development success story in Northern Nevada. It truly helped place this region on the technology and innovation map.
Since then, Nevada has added nearly a quarter of a million jobs statewide. Steve Hill, director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, pointed out that Nevada’s economy was the worst in the U.S. seven years ago and now it ranks among the fastest-growing states in terms of both jobs and wages.
“Apple’s decision in 2012 to invest in Nevada, to locate their data center here, really marked the turning point and was the catalyst for moving this region and, frankly, the entire state forward.” Hill said.
According to Governor Sandoval, Tim Cook kept his appearance secret up until 90 minutes before the event.
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