Which is always a politician’s goal, right? :)
The Stafford BOS voted to impose a Business and Professional Occupancy License (BPOL) tax starting in January 2010.
Well, from the right side of the aisle, here’s what D. J. McGuire had to say about it at The right-wing liberal:
Indeed it is, and there is hardly a tax more damaging than BPOL, which is a tax on revenue, not profit. Moreover, this business crippling tax was first implemented for emergency purposes only – to let Virginia counties recover from the damage done by the War of 1812.
Yes, you read that right – the War of 1812.
So now, both anchor counties in the Fredericksburg area will be reeling from tax increases: property taxes in Spotsylvania and BPOL is Stafford. The local economy is in deep trouble.
Also from the right side, there’s Eric Martin at Rappahannock Red:
Stafford County Democrats George Schwartz, Joe Brito, Bob Woodson and Harry Crisp have approved a highly controversial businesses tax, called the Business, Professional and Occupational License or “BPOL” in a meeting that stretched until later than 3:00 am!
These liberals call it a “revenue generator” for the cash-strapped jurisdiction, but let’s be clear: RAISING TAXES IS NOT A REVENUE GENERATOR- it’s a TAX INCREASE!
And from the left side of the aisle, there’s Dan Smolen at Fred2Blue:
The proponents will tell you that BPOL was intended, among other things, to stabilize the wild year-to-year fluctuations in Stafford County’s revenue stream and make sure that there would always be enough money in the annual budget for schools, public safety, and other requirements. We were told that its passage would end the yearly bickering over school funding.
Yet, we now hear the resulting package – negotiated on, then voted in 4-3 by the seven bleary-eyed board members – earmarks all of the revenue from BPOL for transportation improvement. From the FL-S:
The entire board, however, agreed that revenue generated by BPOL will be used to upgrade county roads and help pay the debt service on a potential transportation bond.
So much for stabilizing school-funding.
The next local election in Stafford in November 2009 should be interesting as both D. J. and Dan point out as well.
UPDATE: Dan Smolen posted the following comment, which I’m adding so neither I or anyone else take his original post out of context:
Tim, per the headline of this post, I think the characterization that no one is pleased is inaccurate.
While I and other “Pro-Business Dems” remain opposed to this version of BPOL (because it is regressive, a bureaucracy that in the end won’t raise that much in revenue, possibility punitive to small but growing businesses, and because the timing of the passage of BPOL in a recession is truly ill-advised), there actually are many supporters of BPOL in Stafford (Democratic, Independent, and Republican).
Really, this is not a left/right issue, although the Stafford BOS members in Republican the minority would have anyone believe that. As sure as the sun comes up tomorrow, they will continue to make political hay of it. Truth be told, the rhetoric on both sides (pro-BPOL vs. anti-BPOL) remains way overmodulated.
We do need new revenue in the county, for sure, and lots of it. Our schools and our critical services are severely underfunded.
We pro-biz Dems are not making our pro-BPO friends happy with our public skepticism. But being small-business owners first, politicians second, we must do all that we can to support the business community and encourage new businesses to arrive in Stafford, and stay.
That’s what will generate the revenue we need.
He brings up an excellent point about the bureaucracy involved. How many additional positions are going to be required at the Commissioner of Revenue’s Office and/or Treasurer’s Office to properly assess and administer these new business’s taxes?