Just open the window and throw money into the wind.
This past week the Governor’s Office of Economic Development gave another $400,000 to SolarCity for creating jobs in Nevada — two months after the company laid off 550 employees and stopped doing its primary function, installing rooftop solar panels, because the Public Utilities Commission so screwed up the rates for solar panels as to make them financially unfeasible.
In March 2013 the GOED promised SolarCity $1.2 million if it would open operations in Nevada — to be paid in $400,000 increments. This past week’s check was the second.
In a press release, in which the company’s name is misspelled through out, the GOED never mentions the PUC action or its resulting consequences.
Steve Hill, the director of the GOED, said, “The grant dollars are exclusive to the hiring of full-time workers at the Company’s financial services division, and are not related to the installation side of the Company’s business.”
Though what they will finance, if they are no longer installing solar panels, is unclear.
The money comes from a $10 million so-called Catalyst Fund.
The Center for Justice and Constitutional Litigation, a division of the Nevada Policy Research Institute, has sued the state, saying such handouts violate the Gift Clause in the state Constitution.
The Nevada Constitution specifically states: “The State shall not donate or loan money, or its credit, subscribe to or be, interested in the Stock of any company, association, or corporation, except corporations formed for educational or charitable purposes.”
There were already several tax-paying solar panel installing companies in the state when the state handed tax money to SolarCity to come here and compete with them — until the PUC derailed the gravy train.
Throwing good money after bad?