Republicans say Kaine fumbled deal with Apple

Republican Party Chairman Pat Mullins pointed the finger at Governor Tim Kaine today for letting an Apple datacenter bypass Southside Virginia.

The computer company chose a site in Catawba County, North Carolina to build the new center, which will bring a $1 billion investment over nine years, provide as many as 3,000 temporary jobs, and more than 200 permanent jobs.

Mullins said in a statement today that economic impact could have come to Virginia instead if Kaine was not distracted by his other job—Chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

According to the statement, Apple approached Kaine about possible sites in February. During the last General Assembly session, Kaine amended a bill that dealt with sales and use taxes to offer a break to Apple for computer equipment purchases.

“Unfortunately, that’s where it became clear that Governor Kaine had sent down a bad apple of an amendment,” Mullins said, “His own tax department found that it did not cover everything it was supposed to.”

From the release:

Indeed, Kaine’s own tax department concluded that the exemption, which included “other enabling hardware,” did not cover chillers for Apple’s servers and related back-up generators.  Inexplicably, Kaine did not ask the department to re-evaluate its appraisal.

By this point, the reconvened session had ended.

Kaine spokesperson Lynda Tran said their was no mistake in the amendment.

“The amendments we made inline with what we thought was a prudent offer,” said Tran.

Ultimately, North Carolina offered a juicer carrot–$46 million in tax breaks spread over the next decade, plus an addition $21 million in government funding.

“North Carolina made the decision to spend more taxpayer dollars than Virginia did,” said Tran, “We’re proud of the fact that Virignia has a low tax burden.”

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Martha Steger
Politics is a game of selective partisan examples: legislators who favor business tax incentives will always cite the millions their state is losing in revenues and jobs, while those who say they favor lower taxes for residents will point to positions that “don’t give away the farm.” A lot of states have elected over the years to offer major incentives to motion-picture producers, something Virginia has only rarely done, despite statistics regarding the local jobs and revenues they bring. Now that the economy has turned sour in many of the states offering those big movie incentives, reaction has set in… Read more »
Bruce Milam

I find it ironic that Kaine’s proposed $2 Billion tax increase failed to get support and now he’s boasting about Virginia’s low tax burden. It wouldn’t be low if he had his way with the taxpayers in this state.

I’m not concerned in the least that Kaine spends much of his time out of the state. I wish he’d spend ALL of his time elsewhere. He rates with Jim Gilmore as our worst Governor in my lifetime.