UPDATE: Travis County postpones public discussion on Tesla economic incentives until July 14

A screen capture of a virtual meeting of the Travis County Commissioners Court, feauring Gerald Daugherty and Sam Biscooe sitting in the courtroom
The Travis County Commissioners Court, including Commissioner Gerald Daughtery (left) and County Judge Sam Biscoe (right) held a virtual meeting July 7. (Courtesy Travis County)

The Travis County Commissioners Court, including Commissioner Gerald Daughtery (left) and County Judge Sam Biscoe (right) held a virtual meeting July 7. (Courtesy Travis County)

Update posted July 8, 2020

Travis County commissioners did not take a vote on economic incentives for electric carmaker Tesla during their reconvened meeting on July 8. After taking several public comments and holding a discussion with Travis County's legal and economic development staff in closed session, Judge Sam Biscoe said more work from staff was needed before discussions could continue. Commissioners voted to consider the matter again on Tuesday, July 14, which is the next regular voting session of the Travis County Commissioners Court.

Original story posted July 7, 2020

Travis County commissioners will discuss possible economic incentives for electric carmaker Tesla on July 8, including a briefing from the county's legal and economic development staff. At the Travis County Commissioners Court's regular weekly meeting July 7, County Judge Sam Biscoe recessed the meeting until 1 p.m. the following day for the express purpose of addressing potential tax rebates for Tesla.

Biscoe's choice to continue conversations around Tesla on July 8 followed several hours of discussion in executive session. After returning to open court and hearing public input from several speakers, Precinct 1 Commissioner Jeffrey Travillion made a motion for Travis County's economic development staff to prepare to brief commissioners the following day.

"I move that we empower economic development staff to take the discussion that we had during executive session and bring back the results to that we can evaluate them tomorrow," Travillion said, to a unanimous vote.

No guidance as to the specific actions staff would take in the interim was given. However, as the 1 p.m. meeting on July 8 will be a reconvening of the court's regular voting session, a vote on the $14.65 million-plus incentives for Tesla could take place.

Del Valle ISD, the school district that would collect property tax revenue from Tesla should it choose to build its next "gigafactory" at a site near the intersection of Hwy. 130 and Harold Green Road in southeastern Travis County, is also considering tens of millions of dollars in economic incentives for the carmaker. Del Valle ISD has a special meeting scheduled for July 9 at 6:30 p.m. to discuss and possibly vote on the matter.

Meetings of the Travis County Commissioners Court and Del Valle ISD are available for live viewing online at their respective websites.
By Olivia Aldridge
Olivia is the reporter for Community Impact's Central Austin edition. A graduate of Presbyterian College in upstate South Carolina, Olivia was a reporter and producer at South Carolina Public Radio before joining Community Impact in Austin.


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