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State education leaders are reserving judgment on a $240 million proposal to lure a Facebook data center to 232 acres of farmland in rapidly growing Jordan School District.

The state School Board voted unanimously Friday to postpone a decision on the economic development project that would make Jordan School District the main contributor toward tax breaks for the Silicon Valley tech giant.

The state panel is waiting on a decision from Jordan's own school board, which still is undecided on the push to replace rows of corn and alfalfa with an expansive server farm storing status updates, images and videos shared by Facebook's 1.65 billion users.

But the wider board may end up taking a different stance than Jordan's, said state board member Jennifer Johnson.

"We have our own set of responsibilities" to Utah students, she said.

The plan allows gradually increasing tax breaks over 2 decades, starting at 75 percent and growing into a full rebate. Jordan schools would supply roughly three times more tax revenue for the project than West Jordan City, passing through $93 million over a 20-year period. Salt Lake County, the second-highest contributor, would be on the hook for $38 million, according to estimates from outside consultant Zions Public Finance Inc.

The district wants to give residents more time to weigh in on the large price tag.

"We felt like there hasn't been enough time for taxpayers and constituents to contact us with their feelings," Jordan Board of Education President Susan Pulsipher told the board's five-member Law and Licensing Committee on Thursday evening.

The district, which includes West and South Jordan, Herriman and Riverton and borders a growing tech corridor now home to Ebay and Adobe operations, would recoup some costs under the deal, including $17 million in property tax revenue during the 20-year period. It would receive $7.3 million each year after that.

West Jordan City leaders have endorsed the deal they say would bring star power and longterm stability. But the Salt Lake County Council and County Mayor Ben McAdams are resisting, saying it would drain northern Utah's water supply and provide few jobs.

"If this were an Oreo factory or widget factory," Salt Lake County Council Member at Large Richard Snelgrove asked the panel, "would they be getting the same deal?" Proponents of the deal, he said, are "starstruck" by Facebook's big name.

Data centers can benefit growing school districts, raising property values without bringing thousands of workers to crowd neighborhoods. But the proposed incentive dips too far into public coffers to justify the promise of returns later on, said Utah Taxpayers Association President Howard Stephenson, also a Utah state senator who chairs the public education committee. Asking schools to shoulder the cost, Stephenson told the board "is preposterous. ... It doesn't pencil out."

Leaders of the overflowing school district in the southwestern corridor of Salt Lake County have long been planning to ask taxpayers there for extra help to build six more buildings over the next seven years.

In order to take effect, the initial extra $16.80 per year in property taxes on a $300,000 home would need approval from voters. The payments would decrease as the $245 million bond is paid off over two decades — and could go on the ballot as soon as Nov. 8.

West Jordan City Manager Mark Palesh said Thursday evening the deal doesn't contain any perks for Utah schools, but tech company representatives told him "you'll be very, very happy with the packages we put together" for educators.

"I don't understand what that means," replied board member Leslie Castle.

"Neither do I — yet," Palesh replied.

The possible project, made public Monday, is not a sure thing.

A New Mexico site also is vying to host the data center. Similar Facebook server farms are humming in North Carolina, Texas, Iowa, Pennsylvania and Sweden.

Jordan School Board members are expected to discuss the deal with state School Board members next week before they vote with other tax entities on the project Aug. 22.

Twitter: @anniebknox