Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.
Incentives galore, but what are these businesses?
The Board of Supervisors passed another resolution to offer an unknown business incentives. For this business, they could get up to 20 years of BPOL tax rebates.
I’ve lost count of how many incentives the board has offered to companies, and to date I am not aware of any that have been accepted. When I realized the first four incentives resolutions never amounted to a big announcement, I stopped writing stories about it. Has any company accepted these offers?
If they have been accepted, your tax dollars are going to some mystery company and there is no rule that says once the company accepts the incentives, the county has to announce it at a public meeting. That’s a loophole with the Freedom of Information Act that probably needs to be addressed and a topic for another day.
But Supervisor Jerry Logan, who is anti-BPOL, removed the clause that said in order for the company to get the incentives, the company must keep a certain number of employees during the 20-year period.
Logan is making no secret about his intentions: He wants to abolish the BPOL tax just like Stafford County supervisors did this year. Mr. Logan has also made no secret that he owns a business that is affected by BPOL. He’s announced it a few times.
The BPOL tax is now being used as an incentive tool to lure companies. Just like Fredericksburg did last night, Spotsylvania is waiving the tax to lure companies. Notice how Fredericksburg properly released details of what the incentives are worth, something the county did not do last night.
If the tax is abolished, that is one less tool in the box. There is no proof that I have seen to show that counties without a BPOL tax do better with economic development that those with the BPOL tax. Businessman I have chatted with say the BPOL tax is the least of their worries.