A California economic development board handed out $70.5 million in tax credits on Thursday for private companies promising to create jobs in the state, including $12.7 million for electric car-maker Faraday Future, which broke ground a day earlier on a new manufacturing facility in neighboring Nevada.
In exchange for the credit approved Thursday, Glendale, California-based Faraday Future is promising to create nearly 2,000 jobs in research and development, building and production and software at facilities in Gardena, Rancho Dominguez, San Jose and Redwood City by 2020. It currently has 704 employees, human resources director Crystal Peterson said.
The board of California Competes also awarded dozens of other tax credits, some to businesses that are byproducts of the modern era, others less so. They included:
- $11 million for Nordstrom, Inc. to create 367 jobs in an order fulfillment warehouse center in Fresno or Visalia;
- $5 million for the mobile application developer Snapchat to create nearly 1,200 jobs in Venice;
- $1 million for Axis Medical Technologies LLC to create 175 health care information technology jobs in San Diego; and
- $205,000 for online news outlet Politico to create 41 jobs in Sacramento.
Board member Madeline Janis also read from a report she commissioned about board members considering the gender, racial and ethnic makeup at the companies being considered for tax credits, after being told at a board meeting in November that "not only are we not able to focus on those kinds of criteria but that we as committee members are not allowed to ask those kinds of questions."
"I didn't think I was bringing up anything controversial when I was asking about diversity, so that's why I'm a little bit wound up about this," she said. "I'm hoping that this will dispel any concerns about whether we can do this."
She said she wants to ensure that industries such as manufacturing and engineering are committed to hiring women and minorities and that workforces in industries known for mistreating low-wage workers have programs in place to address that.
The board also rescinded $1 million in tax credits previously approved for Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp., after the company opted not to expand as previously planned. Those credits will be made available to other companies.
The state Franchise Tax Board reviews the businesses after the tax credits are approved, but it does not make those records public.