Governor Brown and the legislative leadership in Sacramento are a day late and many dollars short….again.
If I were them, I would not indulge in any gaming activities in Nevada or they may lose the clothes off their backs.
Today’s leak that Tesla has awarded Reno, Nevada the lucrative battery manufacturing facility still needs to be confirmed. The deal is subject to review by the Nevada legislature. Governor Sandoval has arranged for a short special session starting next week to review the terms of the deal.
Some critics think it is too big a price to pay. Incentives are estimated around $400 million.
That’s a lot of dough, but the construction of a $5 billion gigafactory and 6,500 good, permanent jobs has its benefits. The payroll alone could be worth $325 million per year – we are not talking minimum wage jobs here, even at $15 per hour. That’s a lot of potential spending along with property and sales tax revenue, even more when you consider the ripple effect throughout the state’s economy.
The payback may take several years, but Tesla has plans to market more affordable versions of its electric vehicles, which will certainly increase sales dramatically. The long-term prospects for employment and tax revenue, then, are good.
While Nevada and a few other states were busily preparing to win Tesla’s business, Governor Brown and company puttered around, perhaps more interested in spending a fortune on high-speed rail, a system that will require heavy subsidies.
This is not the first time Reno has trumped California. In 2012, Reno offered $89 million to Apple to build a $1 billion data and purchasing center in the metro area. Hundreds of well-paying jobs will result. The project is well underway.
Apple, as Tesla, is headquartered in California. Who knows if those companies might pull a Toyota and move home office operations as well.
So why was Jerry and the Sacramento clan dickering when Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico were aggressively courting Tesla? The legislature adjourned without addressing a bill that would have attempted to quicken the environmental review.
It would be unfortunate if environmental issues caused a roadblock. Granted, producing batteries is not exactly the greenest of processes, but if you consider the carbon footprint of the vehicle’s end-to-end production and useful life, it still would be an environmentally friendly product.
Once again, unless the Nevada legislature nixes the deal, it appears that our leaders have misplaced priorities, yet again.