Brian Bonnenfant from the Center of Regional Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno and I were recently asked to estimate fiscal and economic impacts of the Tesla gigafactory proposed to be built in Storey County, NV on the neighboring Reno-Sparks region. The exact impact of the project is difficult to estimate at this point due to the early stage of the development process, the size of the project, and lack of comparable industries in the area. Our presentation, instead, focused on existing data and areas of potential concern as the project becomes operational.
The biggest conclusion of our analysis is the large number of employees projected for the Tesla gigafactory-6,000 to 6,500 direct operating employees are projected, with approximately another 16,000 indirect employees. The majority of these employees will reside in the Reno-Sparks area and Lyon county.
New residents will require local government services immediately upon moving to the area, while revenues generated by these residents for local governments may not be immediate. With the benefits of increased employment, higher wages, higher home values, and additional services, we will also expect growing pains in the form of increased traffic, temporary housing price “bubble”, local government budget concerns, and employee shortages. These are all expected to recede once the region absorbs the new residents and reach a new, larger population base.