LAS VEGAS — Tesla won more than $330 million in tax breaks from Nevada on Thursday for the company’s commitment to a massive expansion of its sprawling vehicle battery facilities east of Reno, including the construction of a new electric semi-truck factory.
Approval from the Governor’s Office of Economic Development came as Gov. Joe Lombardo cited the benefit of good-paying jobs and a nearly decade-long boost to the local economy around Tesla’s huge Gigafactory.
Critics said Thursday that working-class families have been left out of the equation because the state agreed in 2014 to provide more than $1 billion in tax breaks to lure Tesla to Nevada.
The deal is the latest to mark northern Nevada as a focal point in the U.S. transition to green energy, as Democratic President Joe Biden’s administration seeks to move away from gas-powered vehicles in the larger fight against climate change.
“Tesla has far exceeded every promise they made going back to 2014,” said Lombardo, a Republican who chairs the board made up of top state elected, education and business officials.
Lombardo, who took office in January after defeating Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak in November, has proposed a two-year state budget of $11 billion. He tweeted a photo of himself Jan. 24 with Tesla CEO Elon Musk at the industrial park east of Reno-Sparks and called the pending agreement “an incredible investment in our state.” Musk also owns Twitter and the rocket company SpaceX.
However, the $330 million figure remained secret until Monday because of a nondisclosure agreement between Tesla and state officials.