After months of competition and planning, electric car maker Tesla has finally chosen the site of the massive plant it's calling the Gigafactory. Once finished, the facility would cover 5 million square feet and could create nearly 10,000 temporary and permanent jobs and support thousands more, Reuters reported.
Possible benefits to the state
Gov. Brian Sandoval said that up to 3,000 jobs could be created building the factory and another 6,500 would be available once the plant is finished. Tesla's facility could support another 16,000 jobs indirectly, he said. According to MarketWatch, Sandoval has said that jobs at the new facility would pay an average of $25 per hour, a huge leap from the state's minimum wage of $8.25 per hour.
Sandoval has been optimistic in his announcements of the factory, claiming that the costs of securing the gigantic facility would be more than made up for by the benefits it would bring down the line. According to the governor, the plant could create economic benefits of up to $100 billion for Nevada over the next 20 years. That would be a major boon for Nevada, which has struggled economically in recent years, according to Reuters. The outlet also said that job creation has been one of Gov. Sandoval's major pursuits.
Tough questions to answer
Not everyone shared Sandoval's optimism, however. State officials have criticized the enormous tax breaks being under consideration for Tesla. According to Reuters, the company could receive incentives worth up to $1.3 billion. That package would include $725 million in sales tax relief, a $75 million tax break for creating the job it's promised and another $300 cut for other taxes, including payroll.
The company said that it would put $37 million into the state's education system, which, combined with Sandoval's estimated economic benefits, could help the state come out on top. However, some have questioned whether the governor's predictions were accurate, and how the state could afford the proposed tax breaks in any case. Bob Fulkerson, executive director of the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, said that Sandoval was overestimating the financial gains that Tesla would bring and that the company would create a burden on the state.
"Local governments are going to have immediate financial costs of public safety, trash collection, schools and existing residents and taxpayers are going to have to pay for that," Fulkerson told the source.