Tesla made its first public pitch to bring its cybertruck factory to Austin, Texas on Tuesday. The company faced concerns from citizens about its treatment of workers, the need to give the automaker tax breaks, and most of all, CEO Elon Musk.
Texas is currently experiencing a’massive outbreak’ of covid-19 cases. Many objected to Musk’s behavior during the coronavirus pandemic. He sued the county where the factory is located, and spread misinformation about the virus.
Tesla has spent the last few months soliciting offers for its next us factory. The factory is where it will make the cybertruck and model Y SUVs bound for the East Coast.
Tesla says it will hire around 5,000 people for’middle-skill’ jobs if the factory winds up in Austin. Tesla has also said the factory’s presence would generate about 4,000 additional jobs in the area.
Tesla has applied to buy the land, totaling around 2,100 acres, for $ 5 million. Much of the land is currently unused, though a sand and gravel mining business is still in operation in the heart of the proposed factory location.
The potential is just great for recreation, for beauty, and beauty,’ Patel said during Tuesday’s meeting. Patel said he hopes to transform an old mining site into a sustainable factory.
Tesla expects to spend about $ 1 billion on the new factory. But the company says it’s seeking relief from Texas’ high property taxes.
Other states and local governments have offered Tesla far more significant tax breaks, including completely eliminating property and other business taxes for 20 years or more.
I’ve asked for an agreement similar to what other large manufacturers have in place in order to make the economics work for us,’ Patel said.
The company received a $ 1.3 billion tax incentive package for its Gigafactory in Nevada. The company got hundreds of millions of dollars for its factory in New York before merging with Tesla.
Tesla has agreed to put at least 10 percent of the county rebate back into the local community. Some Travis county residents still took issue with the proposal at Tuesday’s meeting.
5,000 jobs will not help this situation, says Cecilia Ryan, who lives less than a mile from the site.’the horrific living conditions, the pollution, the crime, and the poverty of the resident families of Eastern Travis County,’ she says.
Others voiced concerns about the salaries Tesla is promising.’this proposal touts jobs starting at $ 35,000 a year, which would have sounded great in 1985,’ one resident said.
Patel stressed that the quoted entry-level salaries are a’- floor’. He also pointed out that Tesla gives all employees stock in the company.
Travis county commissioners said Tuesday that the local UAW and AFL-CIO have spoken to the court about considering wage and working condition protections.
I believe firmly when someone shows you who they are, believe them,’ said kolby Duhon, a member of the local afscme union for Austin and Travis county employees. I do n’t make this accusation lightly, but Tesla representatives on this call have absolutely lied to you today about their record,’ he said.
Multiple residents took issue with how Tesla’s CEO initially resisted the local county health order in California in March. Musk eventually had the company restart production in violation of that public health order. Those criticisms come as Texas faces dramatic daily increases in the number of confirmed cases of covid-19.
‘they’ll do so as they did with Alameda with better attorneys than we could ever afford to defend it,’ said Duhon.’when they do back out of their end of the agreement, as they’ve shown a proven record of doing,’ he said.
The company would drag Travis county down to federal court and here in Austin for legally enforceable health orders. Austin resident Jordan McRae asked:’how could we allow a company to come into our community?’.
More than one called Musk a’billionaire Playboy’ and suggested that he and Tesla did not need the proposed tax rebates.
The commissioners said they received letters of support from Austin’s Hispanic, Asian, black, and LGBT chambers of commerce. They also received about 190 emails from Travis county residents in support of the project, and about 60 against.
Many who spoke at the meeting in support of the factory were Tesla owners, and a few were even employees. One assistant service manager praised the company’s’excellent affordable health care’.