Tesla’s battery factory was lured to Nevada with the help of a special legislative session that cost half of the one to attract competing electric automaker Faraday Future, and that when the deal was just a fraction of the size. Faraday Future is a China-backed car company.
Nevada spends more to woo Faraday than Tesla
Nevada Appeal learned from Nevada Legislative Counsel Bureau Director Rick Combs that a four-day session in mid-December amounted to $227,097, and the cost will go up to $250,000 when all printing and travel costs are included. This compares to a two-day session for a Tesla incentive package worth $1.3 billion that cost $134,000 in 2014.
The legislature spent $140,000 on temporary and full-time state employees assisting lawmakers in the recent session, including overtime pay of $117,000. To get the work done, state lawyers and security staff put in additional work on late nights and on a Saturday.
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According to the newspaper, there were 61 lawmakers in all who attended the session, and the state paid them $32,184 in salaries and 430,800 in per diem payments. Travel costs amounted to $16,294 and were spent mostly to get southern Nevada legislators up to Carlson City.
How the incentives benefit Nevada and Faraday
Faraday got approval for tax breaks worth $215 million from lawmakers, who also authorized $120 million to improve infrastructure at the Apex Industrial Park in North Las Vegas, where the company hopes to break ground in the coming weeks. There were certain disagreements with regards to water use at the arid site and also with the terms of the bonds used to finance projects.
Faraday Future spurred the session with its billion-dollar factory proposal, but bringing water and road improvements to the underdeveloped park was the bigger benefit, said many lawmakers. They say there is no viable industrial space in southern Nevada, and it is possible that Apex will someday become like Northern Nevada’s Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center, which is home to many big-name companies.
It is estimated that the potential payback will be much higher than the investment made. Faraday’s factory is expected to create 4,500 direct jobs and a direct economic impact of $55 billion over 20 years, according to Nevada economic development officials.