Capitol Alert

How Tesla’s hunger for tax breaks continues in California

Tesla Motors Inc., as part of its bid to expand electric vehicle manufacturing facilities in California, on Tuesday is up for another sales-and-use tax exemption on nearly $1.2 billion of equipment and machinery.

The California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority, a little-known arm of the state Treasurer’s Office, is scheduled to consider expanding a tax break Tesla already receives at its meeting in Sacramento. Agency officials put the value of financial assistance Tesla is requesting at $98.5 million for the total Model 3 project. Tesla used $14.8 million in state tax credits for the Model 3 through June 30.

California officials estimate a net of $1.67 million in fiscal and environmental benefits to the state.

Tesla, which famously spurned California for Nevada’s $1.2 billion incentive package when it decided to locate its massive battery factory in Sparks, was granted six previous sales and use tax exemptions from the Golden State, the first of which came in 2009. The awards were for $26.6 million, $23.6 million, $34.7 million, $39 million, $47 million and $20 million, though it wasn’t all used for the Model 3.

Tesla is spending the nearly $1.2 billion to support the design, development and prototype the Model 3, expanding its factory in Fremont, corporate headquarters in Palo Alto and design studio in Hawthorne (Los Angeles County). The company in its application states that it’s expanding its body shop, stamping line, vehicle assembly, plastics shop, production control, tooling and prototyping to design and build the Model 3, the latest in its line of electric cars priced at $43,000 each on average.

Company officials tell the state that production of the Model 3 will support 2,000 manufacturing jobs. The staff report also says the company will produce and deliver an average of 195,000 vehicles a year over a five-year period, in addition to its Model S and Model Xs.

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TEACH ME HOW TO DOUGIE: Joe Trippi, the veteran Democratic strategist who worked on several presidential and California-based campaigns after attending college at San Jose State, got a victory night shout out from U.S. Sen.-elect Doug Jones after his stunning win over Republican Roy Moore, an accused child molester. Trippi wasn’t the only campaign hand with Golden State ties to help Jones overcome the odds in ruby-red Alabama – and restore Democrats’ faith in humanity.

Breaking away from his wave-riding escapades in Southern California, Kamala Harris alum and avid surfer Nathan Click was in Alabama for the last three weeks of the Senate race, leading press advance operations for Jones and managing a national press crops that descended on the state. Jones averaged an event per day as the campaign came to an end, drawing some 25 to 50 reporters in part because of the lack of appearances by Moore. Click, an Indiana native, had worked on Michelle Nunn’s 2014 Senate campaign in Georgia and was brought on by mutual contacts. “It was a great opportunity and a great win. Together, Doug and the team did something that a lot of people thought was impossible,” said Click, who expects to serve in a high-profile campaign role in California next year.

DACAmentum: Harris joins civil rights leaders in Washington to reach an agreement before the end of the year to shield Dreamers from deportation.

VALLEY LOVE: The Fresno Deputy Sheriff’s Association is endorsing Democrat Antonio Villaraigosa’s campaign for governor.

NOT QUITE VICTORY (LAP): Ahead of schedule, lieutenant governor candidate Eleni Kounalakis, also a Democrat, says she’s visited all 58 counties. “We will definitely be back to many of these places as we look forward to more travels throughout the state in 2018,” she said.

WORTH REPEATING: “Regarding the environment, I just wish (President Donald) Trump would copy me. He wouldn’t have to thank me.” – Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Christopher Cadelago: 916-326-5538, @ccadelago

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