(Assemblywoman Michele Fiore) – Friends, I cannot tell you enough how much I appreciate your support during the Special Session. I have received many emails asking questions and giving suggestions as we prepared to vote on Tesla. I’m amazed at what has been accomplished and appreciate that Governor Sandoval has taken the lead and worked with our legislative leaders and Nevada’s economic development team to put Nevada in the #1 spot.
I have received a lot of questions, so I want to give a quick background on Tesla. Elon Musk, who made his fortune when he created and sold PayPal, owns Tesla. He joined Tesla in 2004 when it was a relatively small company with the goal of making electric vehicles more accessible, starting with a sports car model. By 2009 Tesla was out of money and received a $465 million loan from the Department of Energy that was not related to the automotive bailout, which was paid back in 2013 following their initial public offering (IPO) in 2010. Tesla beat Ford and Nissan in repaying their loan to the government. At this point, it appears Tesla’s stock is holding steady and shows no sign of financial trouble.
Elon Musk has been eyeing Nevada for this project for some time. He also owns SolarCity, which will provide much of the energy needed for the gigafactory. This type of long term planning is exactly what has been missing in manufacturing in the United States since the days of Detroit and Chicago, and this legislation makes an incredible step towards revitalizing manufacturing in America and bringing it to Nevada.
When I think about Detroit or Chicago in their height, it was because of the jobs created by their thriving manufacturing industries.
The United States was once a world leader for our innovation and our manufacturing; however, when it became cost prohibitive to manufacture in the United States, those jobs and the innovation went oversees, and now Detroit is bankrupt.
I am proud to be part of the legislature that is showing the nation that Nevada is the place to do business by being nimble and responsive to those who want to grow their industry. One of the reasons Tesla selected Nevada is that it was able to quickly and effectively move through our permitting process. It is opportunities like this that will allow Nevada to continue to re-brand and grow our way out of this recession, while creating opportunities that will benefit all Nevadans.
I have received a lot of feedback that this subsidy is too big and unfair to other businesses. I believe business flourishes when taxes are low and predictable, and that’s exactly the offer that was made to Tesla. While this deal and all of the abatements and tax credits are available to any company that qualifies, it won’t help many of our small businesses that create so many of our jobs.
My one reservation about this legislation is that there are thousands of Nevada businesses that would also grow and expand and create jobs if they were given the same opportunities. As a small business owner myself, I have felt the pressure of our taxes and regulations, and I shutdown two businesses this summer because of it. I will fight for our small businesses, and I look forward to looking at ways we can use this model and apply it to our small businesses when we return to these chambers in February, including sunsetting the taxes increases of 2009 as well as continuing to reinstate the incentives created last legislative session to bring Hollywood back to Nevada because it is an important opportunity for Nevada, too. I believe so much in Nevada’s film industry that I will be inviting you to join me next month for a movie night to share the first feature film I produced, so keep a look out for your invitation.
I am incredibly optimistic about the future of Nevada and our potential to grow into a national leader for both manufacturing and innovation, including medical choices and opportunities not yet available in America. I see potential for Nevada to become the top choice for medical tourism very soon. That’s a whole separate email itself.
It is impressive to see what can be accomplished when partisan politics are put aside and our legislators work together for the good of the entire state. I look forward to continuing this discussion and building on this opportunity for a successful and diverse economy in Nevada.
(Assemblywoman Fiore is a Republican representing District 4 in Las Vegas)