After Seattle added an "Amazon Tax" to help combat the housing crisis in the city, due to Amazon's rapid growth in the area, cities in Silicon Valley are looking to do something similar. Mountain View's City Council is considering a "Google Tax" for Google, who's headquarters are in Mountain View. Cupertino's City Council is also considering a tax for Apple, who's headquarters is in the city. The Mayor of Mountain View, Lenny Siegel supports the "Google Tax" and does also believe that voters will approve the Tax. However, before it gets to voters, the City Council needs to approve the measure. This could be voted on as soon as this November.
This tax isn't so much to give the government more money, but to better invest in the city and keep housing affordable. In Mountain View, around half of the city is owned by Google, with many different buildings being Google offices. Google already pays for a commuter shuttle in the city, which is free to anyone in the area. So Google isn't helping out the city as it is, but there's always more it could do. This tax could help make a better transportation system in the city as well. While Mountain View, and most of Silicon Valley, already has a pretty good transportation system with the local busses and Caltrain, it could always improve.
Depending on how this measure goes for Mountain View and Cupertino, there could be more cities in Silicon Valley that adopt a similar tax – and even the eventual location of Amazon's second headquarters could impose this tax. The tax is said to be flexible, where the larger companies would pay more than smaller companies. So if you're a small startup in Silicon Valley, you'll pay far less than someone like Adobe, or Twitter, never-mind Google and Apple, which are much, much larger companies. Google has not commented on this potential tax that the city is going to be voting on soon, but has said that it has donated more than $14 million to various organizations since 2014. Mayor Seigel has said that Google has been a good citizen in Mountain View and has really given back to the community. But is slightly afraid that if the tax is too high, Google may not be as generous.