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Tesla’s TX plans opposed by Travis County GOP official: ‘Texans need to stand up to Musk’

Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveils futuristic Cybertruck in Los Angeles, Nov. 21, 2019 (Credit: Teslarati)

Tesla’s plans for its Cybertruck Gigafactory in Travis County, Texas have received some strong opposition from Matt Mackowiak, the chairman of the Travis County GOP. In a scathing op-ed posted on The Statesman, Mackowiak urged Texas to “stand up to Musk” citing the CEO’s reputation, SpaceX’s ongoing activities in the state, and the challenges faced by Gigafactory New York. 

Mackowiak warned that Elon Musk has a “spotty” history of seeking subsides, and he voiced his stern opposition to the idea of Texas giving Tesla generous incentive packages. These include $68 million on Tesla’s property tax bill over 10 years and Travis County’s additional $14.65 million in property tax rebates over 10 years. The GOP official argued that New York, which hosted Tesla’s Gigafactory 2 facility, has struggled to bring the economic impact it was intended to bring to the area as well. 

“After spending nearly $900 million on the new factory, a recent audit found that the plant’s value lays around $75 million. The factory found more controversy as it struggled to prove that it had met the site’s hiring criteria. Even worse, the factory is struggling to bring the economic impact it promised to justify the high-priced deal for the state’s taxpayers. The Lone Star State could be looking at millions of dollars in public funds directed away from roads and other local needs to help a company that seems content to abandon its pledges and go wherever the incentives take them,” Mackowiak wrote. 

Mackowiak also argued that SpaceX’s activities in Texas have not been good for the state, since the company has been “spending years causing headaches for the people of South Texas.” The official listed a number of grievances against SpaceX, such as road closures and noise disturbances, which Mackowiak argued disrupted the “once peaceful village of Boca Chica.” In conclusion, the GOP official urged Texans to “stand up to Musk and tell him there will be no corporate subsidies.”

Unfortunately for the vocal Mackowiak, other Texas officials appear to be very welcoming of Tesla. Amidst the company’s troubles with Alameda County last month, Tesla and Elon Musk received open letters of support from Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez, Governor Greg Abbott, Dallas, TX Mayor Eric Johnson, all of whom invited the electric car maker to set up shop in the Lone Star State. Governor Abbott, for one, specifically emphasized Tesla’s potential tax savings if it moves its headquarters to Texas. 

As for Gigafactory New York, the facility has seen a relatively slow ramp due to the company’s focus on its electric vehicle business, particularly during the Model 3 ramp. However, the facility is ramping now, particularly as Tesla is now looking to expand the reach of its Energy business with its flagship Solarglass Roof V3 tiles. Supercharger V3 stalls, which are also built in Gigafactory New York, are being ramped worldwide as well. This suggests that Tesla’s Buffalo, New York facility will only get even busier in the near future, and it won’t be long before its positive economic impact to the area is felt.

It should also be noted that other states are willing and ready to welcome Tesla and its upcoming Cybertruck Gigafactory. Apart from Texas, Tulsa, Oklahoma is speculated to be shortlisted for the site of the electric pickup’s production plant. Other states such as North Carolina have also expressed interest in hosting the electric car maker’s next US-based manufacturing facility. 

Tesla’s TX plans opposed by Travis County GOP official: ‘Texans need to stand up to Musk’
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