State lawmaker questions NDA with Tesla

Published: Feb. 23, 2023 at 6:31 PM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - “We were in a recession,” says Senator Dina Neal, chairman of the Senate Economic Development Committee. “So we understood what we needed to do. We understood you know, we had big companies that wanted to come in. We needed to lure large companies in our work force was down.”

That’s how Senator Neal describes the times ten years ago when a special session was called to make a deal with Elon Musk to bring Tesla to Nevada.

The deal meant tax abatements for Musk for ten years. And that deal became law for any company that wanted to invest 3.5 Billion Dollars in the state.

Those tax breaks are coming to an end.

And now the Governor’s Office of Economic Development has worked out a deal for Tesla 2 which presumably will include tax abatements similar if not greater than Tesla 1.

No one knows as the deal is under a non-disclosure agreement also part of the 2013 law between the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, Tesla, and in this case Storey County.

“I want to know how much is being abated,” says Senator Neal. “I think everybody is waiting to see how much Tesla 2 received.”

The senator says she is all about economic development and employment.

But she says 2013 was then and this is now.

“Should we have delegated this power away?” asks Neal. “And since we are a new set of individuals serving in 2023, I think there is a conversation about taking that power back. And having more transparency on the deal.”

There is nothing in the legislative works at this time.

But there might be legislation calling for a change in tax abatements to large corporations who want to invest billions in our state. Specifically bringing in lawmakers and the public into the decision-making process.

Any efforts she says to keep local governments out of the conversation is a non- starter.