A proposed technology tax rate increase is catching the attention of Prince William County residents and business owners.
In February, Board of County Supervisors (BOCS) Chairman Corey Stewart recommended that the board direct County Executive Chris Matrino to advertise a proposed “personal property tax rate” on business devices, such as computer equipment and peripherals.
The tax rate is $1.25 for businesses. Stewart suggested raising the rate to $3.70, which is how much the county charges Prince William residents.
Supervisor Marty Nohe opposed the proposal, which passed in a 6-1 vote.
At the BOCS meeting on Tuesday, Betty Dean, Chair-Elect of the Prince William Chamber of Commerce, provided input on the matter.
According to Dean, the proposed tax rate increase would impact nearly every business in Prince William County, including restaurants and IT companies.
“For years this board has emphasized its desire to attract businesses with high-paying jobs. When a business like that adds an employee, they must equip them with technology,” Dean said. “The additional taxes you are considering will dis-incent not just investments in new technology, but new jobs.”
The raise, if approved, would also negatively affect county residents.
“When businesses decide that Prince William County is not the place for them — and make no mistake, this change will send exactly that message — the already disproportionate burden for funding local government will rest even more heavily on the shoulders of our residents,” Dean said. “And in the absence of business growth, people will need more taxpayer-funded services.”
Dean concluded by asking board members to turn down the proposed tax rate increase.
“As a Chamber leader, and an engaged citizen, I see the direct connection between this board’s decisions and the quality of life in our community,” Dean said. “And because of what I see, I urge you to reject any increase to the technology tax in this year’s budget.”
The board will make a decision on the proposal when it takes action on the proposed budget on April 24.
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