Prince William Chamber of Commerce protests proposed tax hikes


The Prince William County Chamber of Commerce is protesting a proposed tax hike, which, it says, will affect more than 4,000 businesses.

Right now, those businesses pay a “tech tax:” a tax on computers that businesses own. Ross Snare, director of communications and government affairs for the Chamber of Commerce, says for every $100 a business’ computer or software is worth, it pays a $1.25 tax. 

On Monday, Chairman Corey Stewart and Supervisor Pete Candland proposed to double that tax. Snare says this is the second and third time in a row the two have proposed such hikes, respectively. Stewart and Candland argue the increased taxes are important revenue for schools and mental health services. 

The chamber says the hike will have the greatest impact on its high volume of data centers, and whether they can afford to stay in the county. 

Snare says the chamber doesn’t want to kill the goose that lays the golden egg. “From 2012 to today, about 92 percent of all economic development projects have been from the data center industry,” said Snare. He also says Prince William hopes to catch up to Loudoun County, which, according to Snare, produces $200 to $300 million a year off of data centers’ tech taxes. 

The Prince William County Board of Supervisors will vote on the proposal on Wednesday. 

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