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Chief Executive of SpaceX and Tesla Motors Elon Musk arrives at the 2014 Vanity Fair Oscars Party in West Hollywood, California March 2, 2014. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok Chief Executive of SpaceX and Tesla Motors Elon Musk arrives at the 2014 Vanity Fair Oscars Party in West Hollywood, California March 2, 2014. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok  

New Mexico considers special legislative session to woo Tesla

Tesla Motors is looking for a business-friendly state to build its mega battery plant.

The four finalists — Nevada, Arizona, Texas, and New Mexico — are now making moves to out-bid one another in an effort to win the lucrative business deal with the electronic car company.

The stakes are high — Tesla founder Elon Musk’s plan for an estimated $5 billion, 10 million-square-foot battery plant will create roughly 6,500 new jobs.

Realizing the potential for new job creation, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez announced that the state is considering holding a special legislative session to create a package of economic incentives for Tesla, the Albuquerque Journal News reported.

“If it’s necessary, we are open to whatever we can do that would even include that sort of thing. I’ve had legislators say, ‘If it’s necessary, we’ll come,’” Martinez said during an event with the area’s commercial real estate development association.

New Mexico’s reduction in corporate income taxes and tax cuts for manufacturers who export their products out of state, are what put the state in the running for the business deal.

“Because we are now more competitive, we’re in the game. We’re negotiating, we’re talking, we’re trying to do the very best to stay in the game, and with the help of some of the things that happened during the session, we are going to keep our fingers crossed,” Martinez noted during her announcement.

Martinez added that in order to keep New Mexico competitive, she could not give explicit details about the state’s conversations with Tesla officials.

“We have talked to them and we have promised them that the negotiations would remain on the down-low, so that we don’t jeopardize the opportunities that may come,” the governor explained to the group of over 500 members of the real estate community.

The three other contenders — Nevada, Arizona, and Texas — have also touted their business-conducive environment and voiced their willingness to be flexible with the auto company.

One factor that may influence the company’s decision is each state’s policy regarding the direct sale of Tesla vehicles to drivers. New Mexico, Texas, and Arizona all have laws prohibiting automakers from setting up their own car lots to sell their vehicles. As of now, the standing rule demands that Tesla models, as well as any other vehicle, must be sold through an auto dealer.

Similar laws have already prohibited Musk from selling his electric vehicle directly to consumers in other states including Maryland, Virginia, and most recently New Jersey.

Although Tesla officials have not revealed which state will ultimately be the home of its “Gigafactory,” it is clear why the car company’s home state of California did not make the list.

Even though the majority of Teslas are sold in the Golden State and the company earns tens of millions of dollars each year from selling environmental credits to other automakers, California’s prohibitive environmental regulations and high operation costs took the option of building a manufacturing plant there off the table.

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