Town Hall Notes


FIVE FOR FRIDAY: A Weekly Roundup of Public Policy News


by Danielle Finley, Associate Director of Political Engagement


Welcome to FIVE FOR FRIDAY: A weekly roundup of public policy issues and headlines from around the Northern Virginia Region, the Commonwealth, and Capitol Hill.

In this Issue: 1. These new housing laws will take effect next month 2. Amazon adds $1.4 billion to affordable housing fund for regions where it has corporate offices, including Virginia 3. What is in Potomac Yard’s future after dead arena deal? 4. Divisive new data center rules clear Fairfax County Planning Commission 5. Manassas City Council hikes data center tax rate 72% in new budget 


By CHARLOTTE RENE WOODS, Virginia Mercury  

Manufactured homes, mobile homes, trailers — whatever they’re referred to as, this type of housing has offered tenants an affordable option to become homeowners. But they haven’t offered as much stability. That’s where Virginia lawmakers have passed some laws to help neighbors around the state have a little more peace of mind. For example, should a mobile home park be sold for redevelopment, a new law will require some financial assistance to help residents relocate and another new law strengthens protections for residents’ leases. The mobile-home-specific proposals are among a suite of housing laws that will take effect next month. 

By HALELUYA HADERO, Associated Press  

Amazon is adding $1.4 billion to a fund it established three years ago for preserving or building more affordable housing in regions where the company has major corporate offices, CEO Andy Jassy announced Tuesday. The Seattle-based company said the new sum would go on top of the $2.2 billion it had already invested to help create or preserve 21,000 affordable housing units in three areas: the Puget Sound in Washington state; Arlington, Virginia; and Nashville, Tennessee. When it launched its Housing Equity Fund in January 2021, Amazon said it aimed to fund 20,000 units over five years. The additional money will go to the same regions with a goal of building or maintaining 14,000 more homes through grants and below-market-rate loans. 


Months after Virginia’s Wizards and Capitals arena deal died, a big question remains: What’s next for Potomac Yard? It’s a large, valuable chunk of land with close proximity to D.C. and a new $370 million Metro stop that sits in what Alexandria and Arlington are trying to establish as an innovation corridor, thanks to nearby Amazon HQ2 and Virginia Tech’s forthcoming Innovation Campus. Plus, Alexandria needs more commercial growth to diversify its tax base and alleviate the burden placed on homeowners. 


New regulations on the construction of data centers in Fairfax County cleared their first major hurdle last week. The Fairfax County Planning Commission unanimously endorsed zoning amendments on Thursday (June 6) that aim to restrict the size, location, equipment screening and design standards of any new data centers in the county. Proposed by county staff, the new regulations come as data center construction in Northern Virginia intensifies, heightening unease among residents. 

Manassas City Council hikes data center tax rate 72% in new budget  

By CHER MUZYK, Prince William Times  

Both property owners and data centers in the City of Manassas will pay higher tax bills under the $333 million budget for fiscal year 2025 the city council approved Monday. … The budget hikes the tax rate paid by data centers in Manassas by 72%. Data centers will pay $2.15 per $100 in the assessed value on their computer servers and other computer equipment. The new $2.15 rate is a 90-cent increase over the city’s current “computer and peripherals tax rate” of $1.25. The new rate applies to all businesses in the city, but data centers and other tech companies such as Micron pay the bulk of the tax revenue. 



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