A special legislative session to lure electric carmaker Faraday Future to Nevada cost about twice as much as one to attract Tesla's battery factory, even though the deal itself was a fraction of the size.
Costs for the four-day session held in mid-December have amounted to $227,097 so far and are expected to reach $250,000 when all printing and travel costs are tabulated, Nevada Legislative Counsel Bureau Director Rick Combs told the Nevada Appeal. That compares to about $134,000 for a two-day session in 2014 for a Tesla incentive package worth $1.3 billion.
Lawmakers approved $215 million in tax breaks for Faraday and authorized $120 million in infrastructure improvements at the Apex Industrial Park in North Las Vegas, where the company hopes to break ground in coming weeks. Deliberations dragged on longer than they might have as lawmakers hammered out disagreements about water use at the arid site and the terms of the bonds used to finance projects there.
While the Chinese-backed car company's billion-dollar factory proposal spurred the session, many lawmakers said the bigger benefit was bringing water and road improvements to the underdeveloped park. They say southern Nevada lacks viable industrial space, and the improvements could someday make Apex like northern Nevada's Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center — home to many big-name companies.
About $140,000 from the recent session went to temporary and full-time state employees assisting lawmakers, including about $117,000 for overtime pay. State lawyers and security staff worked late nights and on a Saturday to get the work done.
The state paid out $32,184 in legislative salaries for the 61 lawmakers who attended, plus $30,800 in per diem payments, according to the newspaper. Travel costs added up to $16,294, mostly to get southern Nevada legislators up to Carson City.
The potential payback could far exceed the state investment. Nevada economic development officials say Faraday's factory is expected to create 4,500 direct jobs and a $55 billion direct economic impact over 20 years.