Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Prelude to Tesla

Consider this a quick cheat sheet on "The Tesla Session" that will begin at high noon today in Carson City. Here's what you need to know about the 28th Special Session of the Nevada Legislature:

- The Tesla deal is now clocking in at about $1.3 billion cost to Nevada taxpayers.

- It still looks likely to be approved, but signs of discontent at the Legislature Building are starting to appear.

- Among those grumbling about Tesla are the "TEA" powered NPRI & AFP (fossil fuels forever!), progressive PLAN (worried about corporate welfare), car dealers (upset over the bill to authorize direct-to-consumer Tesla car sales), and the entertainment industry (Sorry, Nicholas Cage, but no more film tax credits for you!).

- Yet as Tesla keeps blazing trails in clean technology, Nevada now has the opportunity to lead the way in the clean energy (r)evolution.

- It's no secret that US Senator Harry Reid (D) pushed hard for this Tesla deal, as he's a big believer in the potential Tesla's gigafactory has to turbo-charge Nevada's economy.

- And he's not alone. From Northern Nevada business leaders to UNR & UNLV economists and state economic development officials, they're liking the $1.9 billion Tesla's gigafactory is expected to generate in tax revenue for the state, along with the roughly 21,000 jobs (directly and indirectly) that may result from Tesla's big move.

- But wait, there's more?! Perhaps Tesla won't have this special session all to itself. Last night, Jon Ralston reported that Enterprise (Southwest Las Vegas Valley) based Switch now wants to strike while the iron is hot. The data center company is now asking for its own tax credits for its proposed $750 million Southern Nevada facility and $250 million Northern Nevada project.

This is about to get even more interesting. Stay tuned here for more as the 28th Special Session of the Nevada Legislature commences.

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