The seal of Prince William County, Va.

WOODBRIDGE, Va. – Officials in Prince William County this month essentially lowered taxes on businesses by raising their collection threshold.

The county’s Business or Professional Licensing tax (BPOL) was lowered after the Prince William Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to increase the BPOL collection threshold to $250,000. This move ensures, starting in March 2013, that BPOL will be collected only when a business achieves that figure in gross sales.

The tax rate varies between 13 and 26 cents for every $100 of gross receipts collected, and the rate is dependent upon the type of business.

The change is expected to cost county coffers $200,000 annually in lost revenue from about 500 companies. The tax cut was budgeted for in a five-year financial plan, said Prince William County Executive Melissa Peacor.

Brentsville District Supervisor Wally Covington supports the eventual raising of the BPOL threshold to $500,000, and during a question and answer session prior to the vote said this latest reduction will spur more business growth in the county.

“You’re only calculating lost revenue from exiting businesses, you’re not counting for any of the new business that this might attract,” said Covington.

Prince William currently collects BPOL taxes from businesses that collect $200,000 in gross receipts. A previous move by this Board raised the collection threshold from $100,000 to $200,000 in gross sales. 

Prince William’s neighbors to the south in Stafford County abolished their BPOL tax and have been successful in attracting several government contractors and agencies that have set up shop near Quantico Marine Corps Base.