The Conversation feedback: Tesla’s subsidies

04/27/2014 12:00 AM

04/22/2014 5:58 PM

Tesla Motors, which has received millions of dollars in tax breaks from the state of California, plans to build a $5 billion battery factory that would employ 6,500 people. In February, the company announced that it would locate the plant in Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada or Texas, but added California to the list in March. Last Sunday’s Conversation asked the question: Should companies that receive state subsidies be expected to provide jobs for Californians?

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Don’t bite the hand that fed you

Re “Tesla should return state’s favor” (Forum, Dan Morain, April 20): Dan Morain’s column was so correct on so many levels regarding Elon Musk’s proposal to locate his new battery plant in states other than California.

It’s not clear if Elon is using this threat to build his plant outside of California as a negotiating ploy. If it is, he should back off and thank us Californians for helping him get to where he is currently in building some great automobiles as well as space rockets. Where else but California could he find the kind of workers who share his vision of the future? Texas? I don’t think so.

Elon, don’t bite that hand that has fed you in your infancy. Plus, it’s the right thing to do in locating your next great venture in your home state.

– Keith D. Vogt, Lincoln

Learn from Rick Perry

What do you have against Texas and its governor? He is doing what every governor should be doing: drawing business away from a very tax-unfriendly state such as ours.

At least he is doing something to make Texas a better place to do business. All Jerry Brown, Darrell Steinberg and John Pérez want to do is tax all of us and spend our money before we get wind of it.

Brown, Steinberg and Pérez have run off more businesses than most states have. All Brown wants is a legacy. All Rick Perry wants is to make Texas a good place to do business. Maybe Brown and The Bee should pay closer attention to Perry instead of chastising him.

– Bill Moore, El Dorado Hills

Voting ‘no’ on tax breaks

Dan Morain moaned about Tesla building a 6,500-employee factory in another state. We should encourage that. California shouldn’t feel compelled to provide jobs for the unemployed. If one job is created in California, five people flock here in hopes of getting it.

We had a housing bubble in California to end all housing bubbles. Construction people moved here to participate and want more construction, even at the cost of paving over pastures, orchards and crop land. Orange County was named for its orange groves. Now try to find one.

California should never give tax breaks to anyone for bringing a business here. Charge them. All that Mark Zuckerberg and his ilk have done is make San Francisco and the Peninsula too expensive for non-zillionaires to live in. Can we pay businesses to “self-deport,” in the words of Mitt Romney, who has squatted in Southern California?

– Margie Koldinger, Sacramento


From Facebook

Jana Gage – Why build a factory in Texas or Arizona and not in California? Really? Do you have to ask this question? It’s a business decision! Those states have pro-business policies, low taxes and fewer bureaucrats to deal with.

Mike Edwards – So many industries have relocated or refused to locate in California that the gap between the haves and have-nots continues to grow. High fees, higher taxes, overregulation force companies to move to survive. The days of throwing up a picture of the mountains and the beach and expecting companies to flock here are over.

Ray Heart – Bet the people who produce Sriracha sauce can tell you why businesses want to leave the state.

Scot Crum – If California had a much better business climate, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. But it doesn’t, so we are. Sorry, but Elon Musk doesn’t owe us squat. If we lose the battery plant, then we should throw out the bums over at 10th & L and start over … problem solved.

Matthew Pritchett – It would be great if Musk would build the factory here in California and especially in one of the harder-hit areas. This could be a win for all sides if done correctly. Texas is about as opposite to Tesla and Musk’s politics as it gets; it shouldn’t even be considered.

Korn Farmer – He’s creating a product and a business. His mission is not to create jobs. That’s a byproduct of his business.

Jay Spooner – Maybe other states are a bit better for business, but at what price? I mean, you’d have to live there, too.

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