Monday, July 18, 2011

Silicon Valley Company Towns and Their Library Homepages

New Netflix headquarters in Los Gatos marks a new company town. (San Jose Mercury News, 7/16/2011)

Excerpt:   While less heralded than recent expansions announced by Google (GOOG), Apple (AAPL) and Facebook, Netflix (NFLX) is making plans for a larger headquarters in its historic home of Los Gatos to accommodate the company's breakneck growth.

More than just reflections of the success of these tech giants, this spate of announcements illustrates a remarkable new phenomenon: Silicon Valley is becoming home to a new breed of company towns.

Cupertino: As Apple has exploded over the past decade to become the dominant local employer, the largest contributor of sales tax revenue, and chips in an estimated $500,000 in property taxes to the town.

Mountain View: While Google has gone from zero to the town's largest employer over the past decade, it's not among the top 20 sources of sales tax revenue. However, through property taxes and fees for land it leases from the town, Google generates $14.9 million in taxes for the town's general fund of $90 million.

Redwood City: Economic development officials are at pains to point out that the town is about more than just this software giant. But even though Oracle (ORCL) jobs declined in town recently, it still accounts for 17.1 percent of the city's employment.

Menlo Park: The decision by Facebook to leave Palo Alto and buy the old Sun Microsystems campus makes Menlo Park the next candidate for company town status. While the company will no doubt increase property tax payments, it's unlikely to generate much in the way of sales taxes.

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