Tesla 2 done deal

Published: Mar. 2, 2023 at 5:08 PM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - “All those in favor say aye....all those opposed? Any discussion? The motion passes.” With that Tesla Two will become reality.

The project means an addition to the facility to build electric semi-trucks. For Tesla’s $3.5 Billion dollar investment, the company will receive $330,000,000 dollars in tax breaks. Specifically property tax which will be forgiven for the next ten years, and sales tax for the next twenty years.

The agreement practically mirrors the deal made ten years ago when Tesla wanted to build its original plant here in Nevada. One which means Storey County can collect property taxes beginning next June.

That’s because “Tesla Two” will not impact any contract agreement made for Tesla One.

“We’ve exceeded, in fact I know we have exceeded every promise by quite a bit,” Rohan Patel, Senior Global Director with Tesla. “Wages, investment, jobs, and we are quite proud of that. But it wouldn’t have been possible without Nevada,” Patel told the board.

Ten years ago, Nevada transformed the Tesla deal into law--making sure the current deal, and any future deal where $3.5 Billion dollars is invested is held under wraps, until three days before this board meets. That’s why there were really no surprises earlier today as was addressed by Reno resident Bob Fulkerson. He was the only person to come out against the project during public comment.

“The fix is in local governments are again asleep at the wheel and woefully unprepared to repeat the litany of pain we’ve experienced since 2014,” Fulkerson testified. “Thousands of new residents coming here with the promise of great factory jobs. Rents continue to sky rocket forcing more locals from their homes. Unmet childcare and health care needs.”

Tesla says they will work with local developers to build workforce housing, provide more shuttle service to their factory, and build a childcare facility within two miles of their factory. Senator Dina Neal has said she is all about economic development and workforce.

What she questions are tax abatements and if they are working for local communities. She asked the board to delay their vote today so the public could have more time to look at the agreement. That request fell on deaf ears apparently.

But what may catch this board’s attention...

“But technically it was our power to give,” said Senator Neal about the 2014 deal. “And so, if we take it back, we will just be giving ourselves back the authority we should have had in the first place.”

Asked if he would veto such a bill should it land on his desk?

“There is always devil in the details,” says Governor Lombardo. “I won’t make an opinion on assumptions. As I see the letter of the law as it is presented, I will make a decision at that time.”

Tesla says they hope to have the addition built out in Storey County in approximately 18 months. Construction is expected to begin in late summer.