West Jordan terminates negotiations in ‘Facebook’ deal

A Facebook notification bar. Photo by JaysonPhotography/Shutterstock.com

WEST JORDAN, Utah, Aug. 23, 2016 (Gephardt Daily) — West Jordan officials announced late Tuesday afternoon that they have terminated negotiations with the Discus company to bring a large data company, reportedly Facebook, to town.

A number of incentives had been considered to entice the company to be located in West Jordan, including a tax incentive of $100 million, along with $250 million in property tax incentives over a period of 20 years.

But the Utah State Board of Education voted to approve only the first phase of the 20-year deal, capping the total tax incentive at $100 million.

Soon after the vote, West Jordan released the announcement that negotiations for the business deal, referred to as Project Discus, were over.

“Effective immediately, all negotiations between the company known as Discus and the city of West Jordan are hereby terminated,” the release read. “Any and all incentives and inducements preliminary offered the company to locate in West Jordan are hereby rescinded in whole without prejudice.”

The news release said the State School Board’s vote was not the first rejection West Jordan received.

“This negative response follows in the wake of a similar decision by the Salt Lake County Mayor and county Council, who also rejected the proposed incentive,” the release stated. “While this incentive package was more than those previously offered to other companies wanting to locate in Utah, due to their size, investment ($1.5 billion) and name recognition, it was not competitive enough as compared to incentives offered by the State of New Mexico, who also had been courting this data center project.”

Incentives are part of recruiting top businesses to any state, the statement said.

“If you want to attract an all-star player, you have to offer a competitive package.”

West Jordan officials understand other state, county and local taxing entities’ reservations about making such a large and lengthy financial investment, especially considering that the data center would not provide long-term employment at a significant level, the city’s statement indicated.

“While agreeing with many of the points brought out during these negotiations, city leaders felt they were not insurmountable.

“Unfortunately, the long courtship of this company has had a negative impact on the working relationships with several state and local entities involved, which must be repaired for the good of all citizens of Utah.”


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