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PayPal offered $6.8 million in tax rebates to establish data center in West Jordan

LE - This March 10, 2015, file photo, shows signage outside PayPal's headquarters in San Jose, California. (Photo: Jeff Chiu/Associated Press)

PayPal is planning on opening a data center in West Jordan, and, under a proposed plan developed with the West Jordan Redevelopment Agency, the city may offer them up to $6.8 million in tax increments.

The tax rebate is being offered as an incentive to encourage PayPal to come to Utah. Their presence here, supporters believe, will create a tax boon for the city’s economy that they hope will improve funding for the city and its schools.

The proposal, which is being presented under the code name “Pepper River Project”, still needs to be approved by West Jordan’s Taxing Entity Committee. So far, however, the members of the committee who have publicly spoken about the plan have shown it fervent support.

How PayPal could help West Jordan schools

Jordan School District

File photo of the Jordan School District office. (Photo: Steve Landeen, Deseret News)

PayPal’s data center is not expected to create a great number of jobs. The company only plans on hiring 20 people, a number low enough that even its most ardent supporters have admitted that “not many jobs are being created.”

Taxes on the company, however, are expected to bring millions into the city, which the Jordan School District believes will help fund West Jordan schools.

The district believes that PayPal’s data center will increase their commercial tax base by $122.3 million, with $6 million of those taxes being directly applicable to the Jordan School District.

They’ve also begun talking to PayPal about opportunities to use the data center to encourage students, including floating the possibility of holding a career day at the data center for their students and developing an internship.

The Jordan School District is part of the Taxing Entity Committee, and their enthusiasm for the idea has led them to throw their unanimous support behind the Pepper River Project.

The proposal will, however, need more than just their support to pass. It will need the approval of a supermajority of the committee, which also includes representatives from the city of West Jordan, Salt Lake County, special service districts, and the Utah State Board of Education.

More to the story

Not everyone shares the Jordan School District’s support for the plan. When KSL Newsradio’s Dave & Dujanovic talked about this plan on the air, Debbie Dujanovic questioned whether it’s worth the cost if the PayPal data center is only expected to create 20 new jobs.

Listen to what she and her co-host, Dave Noriega, had to say about the plan on the Dave & Dujanovic podcast.

Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon on KSL Newsradio. Users can find the show on the KSL Newsradio website and app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play.

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