Google's hometown of Mountain View may soon start taxing the Alphabet-owned company over the rising costs of living, traffic jams, and all other issues brought by its business over the last decade. In a late Tuesday vote, the city council resolved to expand its November ballot with a measure that would tax big tech businesses between $9 and $149 per employee so as to help finance the problems they caused with their aggressive expansions in the small Californian town whose population rose by nearly 50-percent since the turn of the century and now amounts to more than 80,000, according to a 2016 census.
The likes of Microsoft and its subsidiary LinkedIn, Mozilla, Symantec, and Siemens Medical Solutions are also likely to be targeted by the measure, provided Mountain View residents vote to authorize it this fall. Google is still expected to pay the bulk of the new burden that's estimated to amount to some $6 million annually, with roughly $3.3 million being imposed on the Internet search giant alone. The city council drafted a plan that would see the majority of the funds raised by the new tax invested in transit initiatives meant to improve the traffic flow in Mountain View, whereas some ten-percent would be committed to improving homeless services and establishing new ones, as well as backing affordable housing projects.
Google's aggressive expansion in the San Francisco Bay Area isn't expected to slow down in the near future, with the company now also acquiring significant volumes of land in Europe, even as its plans on the Old Continent still haven't been finalized and some of its real estate holdings may go on unused. While several millions of extra tax dollars per year are a rounding error for a firm that rakes in billions on a monthly basis, Google may soon see its operations much more burdened if the European Union successfully codifies its plan to start taxing digital giants based on revenues instead of profits so as to combat the abuse of tax havens many companies have been relying on for tax avoidance for over a decade.