Tesla is scouting locations for the site of its new Cybertruck Gigafactory, with Texas currently the frontrunner.
Lawmakers in the Lone Star State have just approved property tax breaks worth a minimum of $14 million over the next 10 years if Tesla selects the site it’s been looking at near Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in Travis County.
As part of the deal, the electric-car company would be required to invest more than $1.1 billion in the factory, which is expected to provide around 5,000 jobs.
Tuesday’s offer follows $46.6 million in property tax breaks approved by the Del Valle School District Board in early July, bringing the total in tax rebates to more than $60 million.
Four out of five Travis County commissioners approved the incentive agreement in a vote on Tuesday, according to local news outlet Statesman. Commissioner Jeff Travillion, whose district covers the site where the factory could be built, made clear what it would mean for the local community, saying, “We are talking about a transformational project that will address poverty and opportunity in that area for generations.”
While plenty of locals support the idea of Tesla coming to Austin, Statesman noted that others have voiced concerns about the company’s corporate record on workplace safety and labor relations, and have asked for assurances regarding employees’ pay and conditions should the factory be built in the state.
Tesla, led by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, currently has only one vehicle manufacturing plant in the United States — in California — with the company keen to start building its futuristic-looking Cybertruck at a new plant toward the end of this year or early next.
Musk said in March 2020 that Tesla was looking for a site in “central USA.” The company has already been in talks with officials in Nashville, Tennessee, though Tesla said later that the discussions ended without any deal being reached. Tulsa, Oklahoma is also in the running to host the factory, but at this stage, Austin is clearly in a strong position as Tesla continues to mull its options.
Digital Trends has reached out to the company for comment on the latest developments and we will update this article when we hear back.
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