Photo: Chase Rogers/Twitter
Nueces County commissioners voted to create a tax increment reinvestment zone (TIRZ) for Tesla's proposed lithium refinement factory. Further development depends on whether the manufacturer chooses this place as its site.
Nueces County commissioners on Monday held a public hearing on whether to create a tax increment reinvestment zone (TIRZ) for Tesla's proposed $375 million lithium refinement factory that is seeking tax breaks. The Texas manufacturer is considering a site south of Robstown. At this facility, it would package and ship battery-grade lithium hydroxide to “various Tesla battery manufacturing sites supporting the necessary supply chain for large-scale and electric vehicle batteries,” according to an application it sent to the Robstown Independent School District under the state's Chapter 313 tax incentive program, reported the Corpus Christi Caller-Times.
Nearly packed house for today’s Nueces County Commissioner Court meeting. The court is holding a public hearing on whether to establish a tax investment zone for a stretch of land near Robstown that @Tesla is eyeing for a lithium refinery. Stay tuned. @callerdotcom https://t.co/ALYu9oCV1q pic.twitter.com/rOJ96XAEDd— Chase Rogers (@chasedrogers) September 26, 2022
This plant will be the first of its kind in North America and will be able to process and refine materials used in batteries in addition to lithium hydroxide. If, in the end, this site is selected, then early construction could begin in the fourth quarter of 2022. The commercial operation could begin by the fourth quarter of 2024.
The vote was 4-0, with one Commissioner abstaining due to potential conflicts of interest. This means that the way is now open for the creation of TIRZ. A tax increment reinvestment zone is a designated area in which a portion of the property tax revenue can only be used to reinvest into the zone. It is overseen by a board of directors that largely includes local elected leaders and other stakeholders within its jurisdiction.
It should be noted that Tesla is also considering a site in Louisiana. The decision on whether to select a site in Nueces County “will be based on a number of commercial and financial considerations, including the ability to obtain relief regarding local property taxes,” the tax break application states.
Tesla has not requested tax abatements from the county. If Tesla does so, County Judge Barbara Canales would promote “sufficient public notice,” including both in-person and virtual town halls, notices and information on potential economic, infrastructural and environmental impacts of the facility.
Tesla plans to invest $375 million to build the factory. During the construction phase, this will create up to 250 jobs in the next two years. For the further operation of the factory, 162 permanent jobs will be needed. Of these, 10 will pay $81,000/year with benefits, while the remaining positions will pay close to the regional average of about $53,000/year and will not qualify for benefits.
© 2022, Eva Fox | Tesmanian. All rights reserved.
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About the Author
Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.