Tesla “Gigafactory” Is Signed, Sealed, Delivered

Cybertruck manufacturing plant promises thousands of new jobs, tax revenue for Travis County

Tesla's Cybertruck (Photo by u/Kruzat / CC BY-SA 4.0)

Following weeks of fiscal courtship between the Travis County Com­mis­sioners Court and Tesla, Elon Musk announced last Wednesday Travis County as the next U.S. site for the company's "Gigafactory" automotive plant.

The at least 4-million-square-foot factory, to be located in South­eastern Travis County just north of Bergstrom Airport, will manufacture the Calif.-based company's new Cybertruck electric pickup. The announcement comes a week after the Commissioners Court approved a tax rebate deal for the factory. Under the agreement's baseline incentive – a $1.1 billion investment from Musk & Co. – the county stands to pocket $8.8 million in property tax revenue over 10 years. Currently, the plant's 2,000-acre site near the intersection of SH 130 and Harold Green Road is home to a sand and gravel mining operation with a concrete plant operated by Martin Marietta that provides the county $6,400 in annual property tax revenue. Other heralded stipulations of the Tesla deal include the creation of some 5,000 new full-time jobs over the next four years – with half of those being set for Travis County residents – and an established minimum hourly wage of $15.

Of course, there's fiscal enticement for Tesla, too: a 70% rebate on its property taxes worth upwards of $13 million. The rebate rate will increase incrementally depending on how much capital Tesla further injects into the site over the agreement's 20-year term. Under the county's agreement, Tesla is directed to invest at least 10% of those rebate funds back into community initiatives, like assisting Capital Metro with improving public transportation to the site.

The news was not met with universal applause. Statewide org Workers Defense Action Fund issued a swift statement decrying the lack of "independent, third-party monitoring or enforcement measures" in the deal. Co-Executive Director Emily Timm said, "Tesla is notorious for skirting workplace protections and putting their workers at risk, and we cannot expect them to police themselves."

Got something to say? The Chronicle welcomes opinion pieces on any topic from the community. Submit yours now at austinchronicle.com/opinion.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More by Beth Sullivan
Qmmunity: Editor Beth Sullivan's Queer Goodbye
Qmmunity: Editor Beth Sullivan's Queer Goodbye
Closing the chapter with OUTsider Fest and more queer events

Feb. 18, 2022

Clerk Contenders Look to Build on DeBeauvoir’s Legacy
Clerk Contenders Look to Build on DeBeauvoir’s Legacy
Limon-Mercado, Lockhart vying to be county’s next elections official

Feb. 18, 2022


Elon Musk, Tesla, gigafactory, tax incentives, Travis County Commisioners Court, Workers Defense

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle