By on July 15, 2020

If you happen to find yourself running a section of this country and would like an automaker to build a factory there, we’ve got a couple of tips to help improve your odds. It might be unfair to call them tips, however, as they’re common knowledge and realistically the only way to get a business to settle on your land. Step One involves promising as much money and as little regulation as possible. Step Two involves waiting for their response.

Hoping to beat out Oklahoma as the home of Tesla’s Cybertruck, Texas is attempting to dazzle the electric automaker with the tax breaks it knew the company wanted. All the automaker has to do is spend over a billion dollars to build its facility in Travis County. 

According to Reuters, county commissioners have voted in favor of providing Tesla with a tax rebate worth at least $14.7 million. That’s thrown on top of the $50 million incentive approved by Del Valle school district last Thursday.

From Reuters:

Tesla has asked Travis County for an 80 [percent] rebate on its property taxes for 10 years, worth $14.7 million, as well as a 65 [percent] rebate for the next 10 years after that.

Tesla said the factory would create 5,000 jobs, mostly low-skilled. The average annual salary would be roughly $47,000, an income considered low by the county’s health and human services division.

Tesla is eager to distance itself from California after CEO Elon Musk defied local officials during lockdown measures aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19, suggesting the county’s protocols were beyond the pale. Musk wanted to keep the factory open with employees having the option to stay home if they wished (without repercussions or pay). He has also called shelter-in-place orders “de facto house arrest” and accused California of using the pandemic to promote tyranny.

But he ultimately acquiesced to a temporary closure after butting heads with local officials, vowing to get out of California. “The unelected & ignorant ‘Interim Health Officer’ of Alameda [County] is acting contrary to the Governor, the President, our Constitutional freedoms & just plain common sense,” Musk tweeted in May. “Frankly, this is the final straw. Tesla will now move its HQ and future programs to Texas/Nevada immediately.”

Oklahoma has also been added to Musk’s shortlist of possible locales in which to build a $1-billion factory focused on Model Y and Cybertruck assembly. However, it will take quite a while for the business to totally decouple from California, as the Fremont facility is currently essential for its business. Tesla would evaporate without it humming along on a daily basis — giving us another hint as to why Elon was so pissed about the lockdown orders.

[Image: Tesla]


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14 Comments on “Texas Tempts Tesla With Tax Breaks...”

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “Texas Temps Tesla” = not so committed

    “Texas Tempts Tesla” = trying to lure them

  • avatar

    So you have to wonder where the schools and county will make up for the tax breaks it just gave Tesla.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      In theory, they make it up from the tax-paying employees which didn’t exist before, assuming these jobs are new and not merely transferred from other companies.

    • 0 avatar

      “So you have to wonder where the schools and county will make up for the tax breaks”

      There’s just a small cement plant on that land now bringing in next to nothing. Even with the tax breaks, the factory brings in far more tax revenue.

      • 0 avatar

        The deal will generate at least 8.8 million in tax revenue even with the tax break over the next 10 years. They also have to invest $1.1 billion in the first 5 years and hit the investment and job targets or they lose the rebates.

        Here’s a link to an article that explains the deal:

  • avatar

    Why would Tesla not also insist on overturning the state ban on their sales model?

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    Is it only me, or does the photo of the Tesla looks like the kind of contraption that Wiley E. Coyote would choose to chase the Roadrunner?

    Just slap the name “Acme” somewhere.

  • avatar

    These tax breaks are pocket money compared to the other Tesla factory deals. Either the gravy has dried up nationally or Musk really likes the location. SpaceX has been in Boca Chica for a while.

  • avatar

    Can you imagine the shame of working on such a hippie-mobile in Texas? Or does it get a pass because its a pick ’em up truck?

    Anyone giving a such a massive tax break for 5,000 workers is a fool. Maybe Texas can ask how that Foxconn factory making LCD TVs in Wisconsin worked out.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    Have you been to Austin? The entire central Texas corridor is bright blue.

  • avatar

    We can call it “Stella” for short.

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