Budget News: Time to End “Sweetheart Deal” for Data Centers in Prince William

Budget News: Time to End “Sweetheart Deal” for Data Centers in Prince William

For too long, some of the richest companies in human history have not paid their fair share in Prince William County. At the current tax rate of $2.15, data centers pay almost half as much here as they do in neighboring Loudoun County, and 40% less than the tax rate residents pay on vehicles.

Over the last four budget cycles, I have supported the first-ever increases to the Computer & Peripherals rate designed to incentivize and attract what was then a burgeoning industry back in 1999. At the same time, I remained vocal in my belief that those increases did not go far enough. I am hopeful that this Board is ready to sunset sweetheart deals for some of the world’s largest corporations and raise the data center tax to the maximum allowable threshold of $3.70. 

This would enable us to offset some of the industry’s impacts by investing in sustainability initiatives, a Purchase of Development Rights (PDR) program, an affordable housing trust fund, and our trail network while limiting the tax burden on residents with a lower-than-advertised real estate tax rate. Additionally, these monies will help the County to fully fund our schools and public safety staffing plans, along with other valued community services and projects.

I have also directed staff to evaluate removing data centers from Prince William’s “targeted industry list,” setting the stage for further economic diversification. I look forward to continuing this discussion with my colleagues as we move toward adopting the FY 2025 Budget. 

Join the discussion! Budget Markup takes place tonight, April 16, at 7:30 pm and Mark-up on April 23 at 7:30 pm. You can also reach board members at bocs@pwcgov.org.