Travis County approves Apple incentives by 4-1 vote
The Travis County Commissioners Court has approved a revised version of a tax abatement deal that is viewed as the final step in getting Apple Inc to bring more than 3600 jobs to a planned North Austin campus.
Commissioners were scheduled to vote on the deal last week, but sent the deal back to staff after roughly an hour of discussion. Since then, a few substantive tweaks and other more superficial changes have been made to the county's 15-year, $5.4 million to $6.4 million tax rebate offer.
The vote passed 4-1, with commissioner Sarah Eckhardt being the lone "no" vote.
One of the largest changes made to the package is establishing a salary floor of $35,000 for the lowest paid employees, and $11 per hour for contractors, who will make up around 25 percent of the new workers.
The deal still gives county staff the authority to extend a number of construction deadlines without consulting commissioners, but Apple must hire all 3,665 new workers by the end of 2025 and the first group of 300 by the end of 2016.
After the county approved its incentives offer to Apple in principle on April 17, the total state and local government incentives package to the company was estimated at $35 million to $36 million over 15 years.
Of that amount, $21 million would come from the state's Texas Enterprise Fund and $8.6 million from the City of Austin, both over the course of 10 years.