Race for Facebook data center raises tax-break questions

The race between a small town on the Rio Grande in New Mexico and a Salt Lake City suburb to entice a new Facebook data center with millions of dollars in tax breaks and subsidies is raising questions about public investments in a booming cloud-computing economy that typically brings few local jobs.

In Utah, an initial $240 million tax-break plan fell apart after several leaders said the lure was too rich. Negotiations have since restarted for the project in West Jordan.

The New Mexico town of Los Lunas, meanwhile, 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.

Supporters say it's an opportunity to attract a big-name company, but others question whether the effect with be noticeable on the local economy.