Suspense Continues Over Facebook Inc Data Project In Utah

Facebook previously received an offer from the Utah government to open a new data center there, for which it would have received tax breaks worth millions of dollars. However, presently, there appears to be suspense about whether the Facebook data project is still alive or not.

Suspense over Facebook data center

On Wednesday, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said the effort that the Salt Lake City suburb was making to entice the social networking giant has likely ended. However, the local officials did not comment on whether they were still making efforts to lure the center or not, reports ABC News.

Herbert said on Wednesday, “The issue seems to be dormant at best and maybe lost. We’ll have to see what happens.”

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Since then, officials haven’t said anything on the matter. Herbert said at a news conference on Wednesday that the state had a very small role to play in trying to attract the project because local officials were driving the effort, but he did not say what his views about the project were.

On the same day, Kim Well, a West Jordan city spokeswoman, said the city is still interested in the project, but it did not start any new negotiations on its own.

What’s the confusion?

The initial plan was to give Facebook tax breaks worth about $240 million, but the plan fell apart late last month as the majority of local leaders, including Salt Lake County’s mayor and county council, felt that the offer was too generous. The state school board too agreed that the package was pricey.

This led city officials in West Jordan to decide that it was not possible for them to compete with the tax breaks that Los Lunas, New Mexico was offering, and hence, the negotiations would have to be ended. Reversing course the next day, city officials said they were still considering attracting the Facebook data center because it represented a good opportunity and had plans to start fresh, the report notes.

Attracting Facebook may make sense considering the social networking giant’s success. Facebook’s stock is at its highest with investors expecting the company to reach its next eye-popping milestone of 2 billion monthly active users. The social- networking giant had about 1.7 billion monthly users at the end of its most recent quarter. The Wall Street predicts the company will not be able to touch the mark of 2 billion monthly users before the first quarter of 2018.