ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Latest on Facebook’s decision to build a new data center in New Mexico (all times local):
A Utah critic of a now-defunct plan to lure a Facebook data center with hundreds of millions in tax breaks says the project wouldn’t have been a good deal for the state.
Following news Wednesday that the company chose a New Mexico location instead, Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams said he welcomes economic development, but the relatively few jobs on the table weren’t worth the public subsidies.
Estimates for the Facebook project ranged from about 50 to 100 permanent positions.
McAdams says the Utah land eyed by Facebook is prime for other development even without generous tax incentives.
Supporters of the project argue that it would also have brought construction jobs and investment from a hot company that could bring more high-tech investment.
The mayor of a Salt Lake City suburb says he’s disappointed his city wasn’t chosen for a new Facebook data center after critics said a tax-break plan was too generous.
The social media giant on Wednesday chose a New Mexico location that comes with an incentive package that Utah officials have said was more generous than their offering.
West Jordan Mayor Kim Rolfe said in a statement that plan was unfairly maligned. He says the investment of more than $1 billion from a big-name company would have brought construction and engineering jobs and been an economic boon to the city.
Critics argued the Utah plan to offer hundreds of millions in tax breaks would set a bad precedent for a project that would have created less than 100 permanent jobs.
Facebook officials say they’re thrilled to have found a home in New Mexico for their $250 million data center.
The social media giant announced Wednesday that it would build the center in Los Lunas, a village just south of Albuquerque. Construction is expected to start next month.
The company’s vice president for infrastructure, Tom Furlong, says everything was as advertised when it came to New Mexico, from the community partners and talent pool to the renewable energy that will power the facility.
Furlong said in a statement that aside from the initial investment, the company is looking forward to future phases of development.
Gov. Susana Martinez had first met with Facebook executives more than a year ago in California, putting the state on their radar as a possible location for doing business. Martinez says work to make New Mexico more competitive in recent years is paying off.
The head of economic development for the New Mexico village where Facebook plans to build a data center says it marks a big win for the community, New Mexico and the Southwest.
Ralph Mims says the $250 million project will bring much needed construction jobs and high-paying tech jobs to Los Lunas, just south of Albuquerque. He says there’s no quantifying the ripple effects that could come from the data center.
New Mexico and Utah were in the running for the location. While the project enjoyed broad political support in New Mexico, local leaders in Utah pushed back against a tax-incentive plan they saw as too generous.
Los Lunas agreed to give up all property taxes for 30 years in exchange for annual payments from Facebook that start at $50,000 and top out at less than $500,000.
The complex economic development agreement also involves tax breaks on billions of dollars in computer equipment over time.
U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich says Facebook is choosing New Mexico for a new data center over Utah after questions arose about a tax-break deal worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
Wednesday’s announcement that the social media giant will build in Los Lunas, south of Albuquerque comes after a roller-coaster contest between the two states to attract the facility.
While the project has enjoyed broad political support in New Mexico, local leaders in Utah pushed back against a tax-incentive plan they saw as too generous.
Utah supporters of the deal said it would bring a high-tech cachet that could draw other companies, but critics said the $240 million cost was too high.
In New Mexico, Los Lunas agreed to give up all property taxes for 30 years in exchange for annual payments starting at $50,000 and topping out at under $500,000.
Whitehurst reported from Salt Lake City, Utah.