Job-killing tax enacted by previous Board majority killed

After years of controversy, a tax characterized by small businesses as unfair and regressive will not be enacted in Stafford County after all. Stafford’s plan to enact a Business, Professional and Occupational Licensing Tax, more commonly referred to as BPOL, has been killed by the new Board majority. Aquia Supervisor Paul Milde, who vigorously opposed the enactment of BPOL, says its repeal is evidence that the new Board majority is committed to keeping its promises. “BPOL was the major issue of the 2009 elections,” noted Milde. “As the Board member most vocal in opposing this unfair tax, I campaigned for its repeal. And, so did other the other successful candidates for Supervisor in 2009.”

Prior to the 2009 elections, the Board of Supervisors approved a plan to implement BPOL in Stafford beginning in 2010. The tax would have been assessed on the gross receipts of county businesses, regardless of size or whether they were profitable.

“BPOL would have hurt everyone in Stafford,” declared Milde. “It discourages businesses from locating in a community, makes it more expensive for them to operate and grow, and as a result kills job growth. That the previous Board majority was planning to do this in the midst of a major national recession was unconscionable.”

The Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce, of which many Stafford County businesses are members, aggressively opposed the enactment of the tax. “Stafford has a strong business community, which is essential to our long-term economic health,” noted Milde. “Enacting BPOL sent the wrong message to Stafford’s small businesses. The decision by voters to reject the tax by electing a new Board majority opposed to the scheme shows that BPOL was never supported by the public.”

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