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Prince William Co. supervisors reject last-minute tax hike on data centers

Prince William Board of County Supervisors voted 4-4 at a special meeting Wednesday, denying At-large Chair Corey Stewart and other supervisors' request to increase a computer equipment tax. (Courtesy InsideNova/Emily Sides)

This article was written by WTOP’s news partner, InsideNoVa.com, and republished with permission. Sign up for InsideNoVa.com’s free email subscription today.

Newly elected Supervisor Victor Angry’s first vote effectively ended the latest proposal to increase taxes on data centers for fiscal 2020. The proposal aimed to provide an additional $9.6 million in computer equipment tax revenue to the county.

Prince William Board of County Supervisors voted 4-4 at a special meeting Wednesday, denying At-large Chair Corey Stewart and other supervisors’ request to increase a computer equipment tax.

The move would have added 75 cents to the existing tax rate of $1.25 per $100 of assessed value. Supporters had argued the new revenue would provide a modest tax cut for residents and new money for schools and other county programs.

Stewart and supervisors Maureen Caddigan, R-Potomac; Pete Candland, R-Gainesville; and Frank Principi, D-Woodbridge, voted in support of a new public hearing on April 30 with the higher rate. Angry, a Neabsco Democrat, was joined in opposing the proposal by supervisors Ruth Anderson, R-Occoquan; Jeanine Lawson, R-Brentsville; and Marty Nohe, R-Coles.

Angry won a special election April 9 to fill the remaining term of late Supervisor John Jenkins. The special meeting was Angry’s first meeting as supervisor. He is also the first African American person to be a county supervisor.

During the roughly 45-minute meeting, where supervisors debated the issue, Angry did not speak. After the meeting, he told InsideNoVa he decided to vote against the motion because the board voted in February to direct county staff to begin discussions with data center industry about increasing the computer equipment rate incrementally in future years.

Angry said the community needs to be able to trust the board’s word, which is why he voted no.

This article was written by WTOP’s news partner, InsideNoVa.com, and republished with permission. Sign up for InsideNoVa.com’s free email subscription today.