[OPINION] Reno is paying the price for Tesla’s Gigafactory. Arizona, are you listening?

The Tesla Gigafactory 1, the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center, Reno, Sparks and the Reno-Tahoe International Airport are seen from the air on Aug. 24, 2019.
/Photo: JASON BEAN/RGJ

By Joanna Allhands | Arizona Republic

(Editor’s note: Opinion pieces are published for discussion purposes only.)

Building the Gigafactory outside Reno, Nev., hasn’t been all rainbows and unicorns, and there are lessons in that for Arizona.

Tesla’s Gigafactory proves why you don’t give away the farm for jobs – even thousands of highly coveted tech jobs.

Nevada rolled out the red carpet – and more than a billion dollars in incentives – for what the company promised to become one of the world’s largest factories.

But according to USA TODAY’s investigative podcast, The City:

Emergency crews have been hard-pressed to answer regular calls from the factory.

Housing is in short supply for workers, and what is there is generally not affordable. This has only exacerbated problems with homelessness.

Traffic regularly clogs roads to the massive site, which is just 30% completed.

Sure, Reno may have gotten a lot of accolades for snagging the factory. But the rapid influx of 7,000 new Gigafactory workers has not necessarily made it a better place to live.

And, thanks to those tax abatements, local and state governments have generally lacked the resources to do much about it.

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