Apple has received a tax break approval from the Gilbert, AZ Public School Board, easing the way for Apple to continue with the development of a new sapphire glass manufacturing facility in Mesa, AZ. The school board is reportedly the last of eight government entities that needed to give their OK to the deal, which reclassifies Apple’s property as a foreign trade zone.
The Gilbert Public Schools’ governing board on Monday voted 5-0 in favor of allowing a tax break for Apple Inc., meaning the tech giant can continue with its plans to open a manufacturing plant in Mesa.
The fate of the high-profile deal potentially worth hundreds of jobs seemed to hang in the balance, with the school district being the last of eight governing entities needed to approve a property reclassification that would entitle the premier tech company to a tax break.
The new facility will be used by Apple partner GT Advanced to produce sapphire glass for Apple. Apple is supplying the manufacturing plant, and prepaying GT Advanced with $578 million, to allow the company to install next-generation high capacity furnaces. This will allow manufacturing of greater amounts of sapphire glass at a lower cost.
Apple currently uses the durable and scratch resistant glass for the iPhone’s rear camera, and the Touch ID-enabled Home Button on the iPhone 5s.
The sapphire glass manufacturing plant is scheduled to open in 2014.