As tax season heats up in counties across Virginia, citizens once again have the opportunity to see if Corey Stewart’s record matches his campaign trail rhetoric. Once again, it is hard to reconcile these very different versions of Corey Stewart.
At the last Board of Supervisors meeting, Corey Stewart proposed tripling the taxes on data center, the latest group of businesses to find a home in this bedroom county.
Inside NOVA provided the play by play:
Stewart wants the county to raise its ‘computer equipment and peripherals’ tax from $1.25 per $100 of assessed value to match the county’s personal property tax rate of $3.70 per $100.
‘Let’s shift some of the burden here to ‘big data,’’ Stewart said. ‘There’s really no advantage to having these in the county, other than revenue that they generate. They produce very few jobs, and they gobble up some of our most valuable land. They even create problems with power lines, as we’ve seen in Gainesville and Haymarket. But all that can be forgiven if they generate enough revenue.'”
These statements are ironic coming from someone with a long history of voting to build out every inch of the county with houses, reducing the space to recruit top businesses, and happily taking contributions from home builders as he does their bidding.
With the poorly diversified tax base created by Chairman Stewart’s policies, he has voted 7 of his 11 years as Chairman to increase taxes, raising them by almost 30%.
Even one of his consistent allies in raising taxes, Supervisor Marty Nohe, believed this latest scheme was a bridge to far.
“This sends exactly the wrong message to the business community,” Nohe said. “This tells them, ‘Bring your business here, and once you get here, we’re going to triple your taxes.’” And this is even without mentioning the impact to other businesses who don’t operate data centers.
As Corey Stewart runs around the state sharing his latest reincarnation of his image, will voters and opposing campaigns allow his claims to go unquestioned, or take the time to dig into his checkered record?