The farce awakens: How nonexistent car saved North Las Vegas (maybe)


Once upon a time, in a land far, far away from downtown North Las Vegas, there was a desolated piece of virtually uninhabitable land known as the "Apex Industrial Park."

When our story began just a couple short years ago, North Las Vegas was on the brink of bankruptcy. But then Sith Lord John Lee was elected mayor and embarked on a seemingly impossible mission to use Apex to rescue his city.

You see, if Apex could be developed into a huge center of industrial and commercial activity, the resulting tax revenue would save North Las Vegas from the fiscal fate Lee's predecessors left him with.

The problem: Apex is located so far north of town, in an area with no infrastructure — water, power, sewer and transportation — that no business or industry could afford to hang a shingle there. Not even marijuana growers!

Enter Faraday Motors.

Faraday is an electric car manufacturer that has yet to, well, manufacture a single car. I mean, what could go wrong there, right? But that didn't stop Emperor Brian Sandoval from taking a riverboat gamble on Faraday.

In essence, as best as I can decipher this deal, Faraday Motors has agreed to front the money to develop Apex and build the infrastructure necessary to make the outpost habitable by all manner of other businesses and, in the process, essentially bail out North Las Vegas.

In return, Nevada taxpayers will be subsidizing Faraday's investment by absolving it from hundreds of millions of dollars of taxes it otherwise would have to pay — taxes that other Nevada businesses have been paying for years, in some cases decades, and will continue to pay.

Taxes that were supposed to be used to pay for things like, um, well, infrastructure.

Bravo to Lee for seeing the opportunity and "guilting" state elected officials into giving his town the same sweetheart deal it gave the city of Sparks in Northern Nevada with the Tesla giga-giveaway.

I don't blame Mayor Lee one bit for pursuing this deal. But that doesn't excuse state legislators from giving the store away and taking such a monstrous risk with other people's money.

If the gamble pays off, those legislators will be seen as champs. If not, we, the people, will be seen as chumps.

And the beat goes on.

With that, ladies and gentlemen, I have now completed 10 years as a weekly columnist here in Nevada. It all started as a pro bono column for the Nevada Appeal in December 2005. Muth's Truths is now published by about a dozen newspapers throughout the state.

It's an honor. It's a privilege. Thank you for reading, even though I know we don't always agree. But more importantly, thank you for caring enough to be an informed voter.

Happy new year.

Chuck Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, a conservative grass roots advocacy organization. He can be reached at www.muthstruths.com.