by April Corbin Girnus, Nevada Current
Democratic state Sen. Dina Neal is calling on the Governor’s Office of Economic Development to delay voting on a new tax abatement package for Tesla.
GOED’s board is scheduled to vote on an abatement package on March 2. Details of the electric car company’s request are not expected to be public until early next week due to nondisclosure agreements allowed by the state, but the parameters established for Tesla by the 2014 deal suggest the new deal could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars over two decades.
“It is time for the legislature to re-examine the delegation of authority for tax abatements,” said Neal, who chairs the Senate Revenue and Economic Development Committee, in a statement released Tuesday. “The power of the purse is legislative. It is our job to balance the checkbook of the state’s budget, but under current law, there is an imbalance of power that prevents the Legislature from providing appropriate oversight and review of tax abatements.”
Last week, Neal and other lawmakers pressed GOED for details on the tax abatement package but were told by GOED Director Tom Burns that the details were protected by an NDA.
In her statement Monday, Neal said NDAs “shouldn’t protect large corporations and prevent the legislature and the public from understanding the full impact of taxes that would be abated to make an economic development deal.”
She called on GOED to delay final consideration of the new Tesla abatement package for one month “to give the public ample time to review it after the current non-disclosure agreement expires next week.”
The GOED office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Current also reached out to Gov. Joe Lombardo’s office but did not receive an immediate response. Lombardo chairs the GOED board. He has also spoken enthusiastically about Tesla’s plans to expand its Northern Nevada factory.
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