Northern Nevada Business Weekly
At the heart of the country’s largest industrial park, in the midst of the high desert just 20 miles east of Reno, sits the Nevada Gigafactory — a 5.4-million-square-foot facility where thousands of Tesla employees have produced millions of electric vehicle batteries over the past decade.
Since construction of the Gigafactory began in 2014 after a landmark $1 billion tax incentive deal approved by lawmakers in a special session, Tesla and the ever-growing Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center have significantly altered the Northern Nevada region. Unemployment has plummeted. Housing prices have surged. Storey County, once a desolate former mining community, is now a technology hub. State leaders envision the area as key to the country’s energy future.
But as Tesla prepares to make another multibillion-dollar investment and expand the Gigafactory — a move likely to land the world’s largest electric car manufacturer another round of major tax breaks — state officials have unanswered questions on what the new development means for the Northern Nevada economy, local infrastructure and housing.
One potential wrench in the plans for Storey County, already grappling with significant capital improvement needs: a rumored proposal to divert tax dollars from Tesla to nearby, better-populated local governments, such as Washoe County. Those other jurisdictions, including the cities of Reno and Sparks, are shouldering the burden of providing services to the Tesla workers and their families who live within their boundaries.