Tesla is likely to get $15-million tax credit
Tesla Motors Inc. is positioned to get the largest tax credit grant among dozens of applicants for a special California economic development program.
California officials are recommending that the Palo Alto electric car manufacturer receive $15 million of the $49.5 million in tax credits planned in the latest disbursement. A vote on the deal by the state’s GO-Biz California Competes tax credit committee is scheduled for June 18.
Tesla has been a major contributor to the state economy, Tesla spokesman Ricardo Reyes said, and accounted for $50 million in state tax revenue last year. “This award ref lects our commitment to create even more jobs and investment in the state,” Reyes said.
Tesla and its chief executive, Elon Musk, have become adept at tapping government money to sustain the business.
A recent Los Angeles Times analysis of subsidies for all three companies headed by Musk — Tesla, SolarCity Corp. and Space Exploration Technologies Corp., or SpaceX — found that the companies have received or secured commitments for $4.9 billion in government support. Tesla accounted for almost half of the total.
This latest tax credit considered by California is tied to job creation. Tesla would get the full amount by creating 4,426 positions by 2019. The jobs must have a minimum annual salary of $35,000 and an average salary of at least $55,000.
The contract calls for Tesla to collect $10.5 million of the incentives in 2019, after it has hired most of the workers.
The company has already made most of the hires, according to Tesla. The state is measuring from a base of about 6,500 jobs, but the automaker said Tuesday that figure is already out of date. It now has more than 9,000 workers in California.
The automaker is growing rapidly and is hiring workers at several locations in California, including its auto factory in Fremont, where it plans to add a second model to its assembly line later this year, and at its design studio in Hawthorne.
The Model X sport utility vehicle will be ready in about three or four months, Musk said at Tesla’s annual shareholders meeting Tuesday.
“Getting those final nuances right for the Model X is what we are focusing on right now,” Musk said.
Meanwhile, Musk announced that a small group of Model S sedan owners will have their cars updated for a test of hands-free driving by the end of the month. Musk spent much of the meeting talking about the potential for robotic cars.
He said the first version of the autopilot feature is designed to shift part of the burden of driving from the driver but not replace the person at the controls. Tesla is aiming for a fully autonomous system in about three years.
TESLA MOTORS’ latest tax credit considered by California is tied to its job creation. Above, Tesla Chief Designer Franz von Holzhausen with a Model X in 2013.