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Prince William board approves budget without tax hike for data centers

The Prince William Board of County Supervisors approved a $1.2 billion budget Tuesday that kept the residential property tax rate the same and left out a proposal by board Chairman Corey A. Stewart (R) to nearly triple the rate of taxes paid by computer data centers.

The budget, approved 5-3, transferred an extra $578.9 million to county schools and slightly raised a levy on fire services to roughly 8.5 cents per $100 of a residential property’s assessed value.

Stewart, who is seeking the Republican nomination to challenge U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine (D) in November, had been promoting a plan to sharply increase the county’s tax rate on “computers and peripherals.” The change would generate enough revenue to lower the property tax rate, give $9 million more to schools and avoid the fire levy increase, he said.

Opponents argued that plan would cause data centers to leave Prince William.

Stewart did not formally introduce the tax-hike idea to the eight-member county board Tuesday night. A spokesman for his office said it did not have enough votes to pass.