Stafford County, Virginia is considering a tax break to attract data center operators.
If passed by Stafford County supervisors on April 16th, the proposed tax cut for computer equipment and peripherals used in data centers would be reduced from $5.49 of every $100 down to $0.0001, according to county filings.
Tax, what tax?
Other counties in Virginia such as Loudoun, Prince William and Danville have already put in place sizable tax incentives to attract data centers.
By proposing this almost non-existent tax rate for data center equipment, Stafford county hopes that it can draw in more business to the region.
Speaking to The Free Lance–Star, Scott Mayausky, Stafford's commissioner of revenue said: “We’re lowering our rates to match Prince William County’s and have adopted the same depreciation schedule as theirs. We’re not giving away anything by lowering the tax rate, because at the current rate, data centers wouldn’t be coming to Stafford.”
Prince William County has a tax depreciation schedule to lower the tax on data center equipment from the current rate of 63 cents on the dollar to 6 cents on the dollar over a five year period.
Nearby Virginia counties Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania plan to adopt the same tax depreciation scheme.
Mayausky said: “This was the first time I’ve seen counties come together and agree on a set rate and depreciation schedule to try to attract these businesses to the region. We’ve done that on a regional basis so [data centers] don’t have to negotiate with an individual county.”
At current rates, Stafford county would generate $3.8 million in tax revenue from $200m worth of data center equipment. If these new tax incentives are voted in, the county would make $1.25m off of equipment of the same value.