Share story

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah County has approved $150 million in tax incentives to try to lure an unnamed company to build a data center near Eagle Mountain in between a mink farm and a water treatment plan.

The county commission voted Tuesday to approve property tax incentives for the 500-acre (202-hectacre) area at the southern end of Pony Express Parkway, The Salt Lake Tribune reported .

Ifo Pili, Eagle Mountain’s city administrator, said the city conducted a study of the data center’s likely impact and found little downside.

Pili said the property currently generates about $66 in combined annual property taxes. That tax bill would increase to roughly $837,000 in the project’s first phase, including incentives, with additional phases of construction anticipated in the future, according to city projections.

Tax revenue would be split among the city, county, Alpine School District, Unified Fire Authority and the Central Utah Water Conservancy District, with the incentive package lasting 20 years. After that term expires, property tax collections would jump to millions of dollars annually.

Under the agreement, the unnamed company would commit to funding up to $100 million in road and utility improvements, which would open the area up for continued development, Pili said.

“I’ll let you decide if anyone would ever come to a mink farm and a wastewater-treatment plant as their neighbors and provide billions of dollars of taxable value,” Pili said.

Eagle Mountain’s city council and Unified Fire have already approved the plan, with Alpine School District and the water conservancy district scheduled to vote on the issue Wednesday. All five taxing entities must approve the plan for it to go through.

In 2016, West Jordan City sought to land a Facebook data center by offering large tax incentives to the social media giant. That deal ultimately fell through amid opposition by Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams and a vote of conditional support by the Utah Board of Education that sought to cap the company’s tax benefits.

Three months after the Utah negotiations ended, state lawmakers voted in a special session to approve a sales tax exemption for data centers. The move was seen by many as another attempt to woo Facebook to Utah.


Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune,