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Tesla's Travis Tax Trade

What a gigafactory might look like
What a gigafactory might look like
Photo: Here

Details have been released on what Travis County, home of the city of Austin, is willing to give up in order to lure Tesla’s gigafactory to our fair city, to be built out near COTA. In a nutshell:

KXAN’s Yoojin Cho reported the investment would lead to a 70% rebate on Operations and Maintenance taxes. County officials said that would come out to about $14 million in rebates over 10 years.

Additional investment is incentivized:

  • 75% rebate on O&M taxes on incremental investment from $1.1 – $2 billion
  • 80% rebate on O&M taxes on incremental investment over $2 billion

The initial new facilities include approximately four million square feet or more of operating space and will create 5,001 new, full-time jobs over the next four years in Travis County.

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Now, I’m not smart enough to really understand the full impact of all of this. I am, however, a property-tax-paying resident of this county, and I know that our schools get all of their money from property taxes and that most are grossly underfunded. I understand that there is also contingent development that goes along with this project, and maybe it will all work out well in the end. I guess we’ll just have to see.

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Also, 5,001 is an oddly specific number, but I imagine it has something to do with “more than 5,000" in legalese.

You can read the entire agreement between Tesla and Travis County here. Not surprisingly, it’s very long.

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