| On Tuesday 02/02/10 the Stafford County Board of Supervisors begins public hearings on repealing the Business, Professional and Occupational Licensing program that the predecessor Board passed in 2008.
The Republicans swept out the Independents and Democrats and now hold a 5-2. The GOP candidates ran against the BPOL. It would seem that its repeal is a foregone conclusion.
The Stafford County Democrats fractured over the issue dissolving into incoherence and incapacity, guaranteeing the Republican sweep last November.
The BPOL was scheduled to begin on 01/01/10 but the Republicans have suspended it pending the hearings and repeal.
In addition, Del. Mark Cole, HD-88 part of whose district is in Stafford, is sponsoring a bill in the General Assembly that would prohibit any jurisdiction that has repealed the BPOL from reinstating it. The fate of that legislation is unclear at this point but portentous.
Many funding initiatives for transportation, etc. were predicated upon BPOL revenue that was estimated to be somewhere in the $3-4M range. The Royalty Tax, repealed when BPOL was passed, brought in under $1M.
Stafford County was the largest jurisdiction in the Commonwealth not to have a BPOL. All the neighboring jurisdictions, larger and smaller, have it.
It's very difficult to get really good information about BPOL revenues and effects over time; opponents maintain that it drives businesses away and costs jobs, although nothing specific can be cited. I believe that is not the case.
Currently, businesses pay around 10-15% of Stafford's tax burden. BPOL would raise that to 20-25%. Stafford's homeowners are already groaning under the tax burden.
I am requesting information on BPOL and its effects, good and bad. I will provide what verifiable information I receive to those who are mounting the defense.
Thanks for your support!