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Data center tax established

After a public hearing that drew no speakers, the Prince Edward County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to establish a separate category of tangible personal property for computers and other equipment used in a data center.

The board previously appropriated funding to the Industrial Development Authority that led to the purchase of the Lockwood property for possible use as a data center site.

However, the amount of tax on computer equipment and related peripherals could prove too much of a drawback to potential call or data centers that would otherwise be interested in locating in Prince Edward County.

Depreciation of equipment was a factor in their decision to set the tax rate in this category at $1.00 per every $100 of assessed value, County Administrator Doug Stanley said, noting that even for a private consumer, “after 4-5 years, your computer is basically a boat anchor.”

“Many localities adopted these lower rates to attract these types of facilities,” he said. “It’s considered a separate classification. As an example, Prince William County, Stafford, Spotsylvania, all have a rate of $1.25 per $100. Currently (before the vote), the county taxes such equipment at a rate of $4.50 per $100.”