While our illustrious county supervisor gloats about her Dumfries-Triangle flattening project and sidewalk to nowhere along Route 1 in eastern Prince William County, North Stafford continues to run laps around us in terms of economic development. From The Free Lance-Star:
Google’s chief technology officer for the public sector will be part of an announcement next month about improved fiber-optic connections at the Quantico Corporate Center in North Stafford.
Michele Weslander Quaid will be the keynote speaker at the Dec. 10 invitation-only event, which will start at 3:30 p.m., in the building that holds University of Maryland University College’s facility at the Quantico Corporate Center off U.S. 1 near the Stafford–Prince William line.
. . .
the new fiber lines will allow the Quantico Corporate Center “to become the nexus of network connectivity for government, industry and academia.”
. . .
the enhanced fiber connections will benefit current and future companies at the QCC, as well as potentially other areas in the Fredericksburg region. He said they will bring down data costs for North Stafford businesses and help even the playing field with Northern Virginia.
As I and others understand it, this network’s real purpose is to connect Quantico Corporate Center to the Pentagon. This is a major marketing opportunity for QCC to bring even more defense contractors in to North Stafford at the expense of eastern PWC where we have empty office space.
Just how many jobs and businesses have left eastern PWC for Stafford in the past few years? Maybe if Prince William County would repeal the Business, Professional, and Occupational License or BPOL tax as I have called upon them to do, they could stem some of the loss. (Don’t even get me started on how Stafford is now in the running to get a Legoland theme park, yet another major economic development project that eastern PWC let slip through its grasp back in the ’90s around the same time it blew the Disney deal.)
The BPOL tax was put in place to pay for The War of 1812, which last time I checked was over and we had won.
The problem is the tax is on gross receipts, not actual income. Stafford County’s elimination of their BPOL tax is something that their economic development department has used to great effect in luring businesses. In fact, Stafford even briefly leapt ahead of Prince William on the wealthiest counties list in 2010 in part because of this move.
Maybe if we had more county officials concerned with cutting red tape instead of ceremonial ribbons we could have nice things…