“The demonstration was led by Richard “Skip” Daly, business manager of Laborers’ Union Local 169.
“He said Apple and NV Energy announced this month a deal to build a solar array near Yerington, and that ratepayers are faced with an unknown impact.
“Daly said SunPower Corp., a U.S. residential contractor, will construct the project.
“We’re not saying that tax incentives in these things are not a useful tool properly applied, but when they’re done in secrecy, we don’t (know) if this one’s a good deal,” Daly said.
“Kristin Huguet, an Apple spokeswoman, said a representative wasn’t available to comment on the protest. SunPower spokeswoman Helen Kendrick also was unavailable to speak about the event.
“About 30 protesters wore neon orange vests, holding up signs with a rotten apple surrounded by the words, “Apple Bites.”
“Daly said Apple was granted $89 million in tax breaks to locate its server farm in Washoe County, taxes that are taken from local profits of the community.
“I’ve lived here all of my life and I paid my taxes so I can have good schools and roads and public safety and all of the things we want,” he said. “If I stop paying my taxes, it’s not good for the community. So how is it, when Apple doesn’t have to pay taxes, or as much as they should, it’s all of the sudden good for the community?”
“Daly said Nevadans are paying high costs to create about 35 permanent jobs at $22 per hour in Washoe County, along with 200 contractor jobs from Apple that will be created.
“Daly calculated that dividing 235 into $89 million means taxpayers are paying about $378,723 to establish each position.
“Daly said the point of the protest is to get the message to taxpayers that this may or may not be a great deal. He said this time it’s going to affect the ratepayers of NV Energy as well as taxpayers.
“We just want people to be aware,” he said.
(excerpts and photo from Reno Gazette Journal article July 31, 2013)