Tesla gets tax break for proposed $1 billion factory in Austin, Texas

With a key tax break from a local school district, Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) is one step closer to building an electric pickup truck plant in Austin, Texas.

The Del Valle School District just southeast of Austin has approved an incentive package for Tesla that would give the electric vehicle maker $46.4 million in property tax breaks over 10 years if it locates a proposed $1 billion factory on district land.

Tesla is also seeking approval from Travis County commissioners for additional tax incentives before it moves forward with the plant. 

Commissioners have discussed offering Tesla a 70% tax rebate on the first $1.1 billion it invests in Travis County. Tesla would also receive a 75% rebate for taxes associated with the second “incremental billion,” and 80% once $2 billion of investment is exceeded, according to county documents.

The commissioners are set to vote on the final tax incentives package for Tesla on Tuesday.

Tesla has not yet officially chosen a site for its new Cybertruck factory, and Tulsa, Oklahoma, also is still in the mix.

If Austin is selected, it would be Palo Alto, California-based Tesla’s second U.S. auto factory. Tesla unveiled its electric Cybertruck pickup prototype in November. 

Tesla wants to build a 4 million- to 5 million-square-foot manufacturing plant on the 2,100-acre site on school district land near Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.

The new Cybertruck plant is expected to create around 5,000 jobs, with starting pay at $35,000 a year and an average annual salary of $47,147, according to documents filed by Tesla.

Tesla is not expected to start production on the Cybertruck until late 2021 at the earliest. The company already has more than 650,000 reservations for the vehicle, according to a recent report from Wedbush.

The Cybertruck will reportedly be sold in three models, with the least expensive one starting at $40,000.

Tesla shares cracked $1,500 for the first time on Friday, continuing a run that has seen Tesla’s market capitalization rise 190% in the past six months.

Click for more FreightWaves articles by Noi Mahoney.

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