(Reuters) – A central Texas county that includes Austin on Tuesday approved a plan to provide millions in tax subsidies to Tesla Inc <TSLA.O> if it builds a $1.1 billion vehicle factory in the area.
The decision marks a step forward for Texas as it vies with Oklahoma to attract a new factory to build Tesla’s Y sport utility vehicles and cybertrucks.
A majority of commissioners in Travis County voted in favor of providing the electric carmaker with a tax rebate worth at least $14.7 million.
That brings the total amount of tax rebates to nearly $65 million after the Del Valle school district, which includes the proposed factory site, approved a $50 million incentive on Thursday.
Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The electric carmaker only has a single vehicle manufacturing plant in California and has said it wants to start building a large second plant in the southwestern United States as early as the third quarter of this year..
Commissioners in favor of the agreement decided to move forward after a Tesla representative said executives had met with the governor of a rival state, without naming the state.
The city of Tulsa in Oklahoma has campaigned for Tesla to build the plant there.
Tesla has asked Travis County for an 80% rebate on its property taxes for 10 years, worth $14.7 million, as well as a 65% rebate for the next 10 years after that.
Tesla said the factory would create 5,000 jobs, mostly low-skilled. The average annual salary would be roughly $47,000, an income considered low by the county’s health and human services division.
(Reporting by Joe White and Tina Bellon; Additional reporting by Hyunjoo Jin; Editing by Richard Pullin and Stephen Coates)