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Apple Got $4.16 Million Per Job Created in Iowa Deal

A new data center in Waukee, Iowa is creating 50 jobs; in return, Apple is getting $208 million in tax breaks.

Tech giant Apple made headlines last week when CEO Tim Cook announced the company would build a new data center in the small town of Waukee, Iowa.

To build in Waukee, Apple – the U.S.’s largest company – secured $208 million in tax breaks from the state. The Los Angeles Times’ Michael Hiltzik did the math, which found the 50 jobs created by the data center net out to $4.16 million per job for Apple.

To bring the project home, Waukee and the state are giving Apple about $208 million in tax abatements. For that, they’re getting a plant that will employ a permanent workforce of 50 people.

Fifty. That works out to $4.16 million per job. At prices like that, analysts at the subsidy-tracking think tank Good Jobs First have observed, “taxpayers will always lose.” That’s because there’s no way the new employees will pay that much more in state and local taxes than the public services they and their dependents consume.

But as astounding as that is, Hiltzik pointed out that this Iowa deal isn’t as bad as Apple’s 2009 North Carolina deal, which gave the iPhone-maker $321 million in tax incentives for 50 jobs.

In May, Apple had about $256.8 billion in cash parked overseas to avoid U.S. taxes. That, according CNBC, is a number greater than the market cap of General Electic.