Apple CEO Tim Cook comes to Reno to break ground on $4 million project
RENO, Nev. — Apple CEO Tim Cook — in a surprise appearance — joined Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval and Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve at a Jan. 17 groundbreaking event in Reno for the tech giant’s much-publicized $4 million shipping and receiving warehouse.
Cook said at the groundbreaking a few blocks east of the downtown casino district — at Fifth Street and Evans Avenue — that “Apple is a success that could only have happened in America,” according to the Associated Press, adding that he is pleased to be part of “transforming downtown Reno to the vibrant city it should be.”
Apple is planning to build another corporate campus and hire 20,000 workers during the next five years as part of a $350 billion commitment to the U.S. — that investment includes doubling the size of its $1 billion data center east of Reno at the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center.
Apple’s downtown warehouse plans were announced last May. The company will reportedly hire 100 permanent workers and double the workforce, along with providing around 300 temporary construction jobs.
According to previous NNBW reports, the area surrounding the Fifth and Evans site was formerly part of the sweeping Tessera redevelopment project, which called for 1.2 million square feet of mixed-used development. That project ultimately never transpired as the hard-hitting recession scuttled developers’ plans for the district.
Buying the land is a key part of Apple’s investment strategy in Northern Nevada, Apple representative Mike Foulkes told the Reno City Council last spring.
Meanwhile, Apple’s $350 billion pledge announced Jan. 17 in Reno comes less than a month after Congress approved a sweeping overhaul of the U.S. tax code championed by President Donald Trump that will increase corporate profits.
Besides dramatically lowering the standard corporate tax rate, the reforms offer a one-time break on cash being held overseas.
Apple reportedly plans to take advantage of that provision to bring back about $252 billion in offshore cash, generating a tax bill of roughly $38 billion. It’s something Cook promised the company would do if it could avoid being taxed at the 35 percent rate that had been in effect under the previous tax law.
About $75 billion of the $350 billion in U.S. investments will be paid from money that had been overseas, Apple estimated.
Companies who bring back money stashed overseas this year will be taxed at a 15.5 percent rate, below the new 21 percent rate for U.S. corporate profits under the new law, according to the AP. As a whole, corporate America has an estimated $2.6 trillion in overseas cash, with most of that concentrated in the technology industry, with Apple sitting at the top of the heap.
While Apple is likely to return some of its overseas money to its shareholders, the Jan. 17 announcement in Reno is designed to be a show of faith in the U.S. — the company’s largest market. The public show of support to the U.S. also helps the optics of a company that will still continue to make most of its iPhones, iPads and other gadgets in factories located in China and other faraway countries that offer cheaper labor.
Heather Ashbridge, who started with Nevada State Development Corporation in 2008, previously served in several roles with the organization, including assistant vice president and loan officer. She is based in NSDC’s Reno office.