PHOENIX – The Arizona State Senate Tuesday nearly unanimously approved two economic development bills designed to attract manufacturers to the state by providing economic incentives to them.
One of the bills, SB1484 would provide a $1 million tax credit to manufacturers that invest at least $300 million in the production of renewable energy to power their plants, which could be a boon for attracting Tesla, who is considering Arizona as the home of its proposed $4 billion Gigafactory.
The Gigafactory could employ as many as 6,500 people and create millions of dollars of investments for the state. It’s estimated that up to 500,000 batteries could be produced at the site per year, making it the largest lithium-ion battery facility in the world and paving the way for a cheaper, more economical Tesla model.
Rep. Ethan Orr, R-Tucson, said SB1484 will help expand Arizona’s tax base.
“Frankly, I want that in my state. I want that in my city. And having an intelligent recruitment policy allows us to do that,” Orr said.
Rep. Bob Thorpe, R-Flagstaff favored SB1484 because of its potential to strengthen Arizona’s workforce.
“I think when we’re talking jobs, jobs, jobs, when we’re talking about growing Arizona, there’s a lot of potential here,” Thorpe said.
SB1484 eked by on a 34-21 House vote, but fared better in the Senate, where it passed 24-3.
The other bill, SB1413, was a favorite of Gov. Jan Brewer, who had championed the bill in her State of the State address because it eliminates sales taxes on energy usage by manufacturers. It passed mightily in the House with a 51-3 vote and unanimously in the Senate.