OverviewThe cities and towns with Enterprise Zone designations have met the Statutory requirements at the time of original zone approval, as authorized by the Connecticut General Assembly and codified at CGS Sec. 32-70 et seq.
State goals for this designation are to encourage the redevelopment of under-used and/or vacant properties, to grow certain service and manufacturing industry sectors, and supporting projects that overall could add new jobs for the state. Established in 1981 to certain struggling neighborhoods in the original targeted investment communities of the original 6 small cities (Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven, New Britain, New London, and Norwalk), the state now has many more municipalities approved through additional special legislation for this zone designation.
Cities and towns with this designation may apply for additional Entertainment District, Railroad Depot Zone, or plant closure zone designation if they present the municipality presents satisfactory rationale indicating the benefits of the additional zone to the local and State economies.
Key Incentives for BusinessesCompanies involved in manufacturing, research associated with manufacturing and distribution warehousing (new construction/expansion only) as well as certain non-manufacturing service companies that develop properties within this zone may receive:
- a five-year, 80% abatement of local property taxes on qualifying real estate and personal property (note: the company must be new to the municipality’s grand list as a direct result of a business expansion or renovation); and
- such other benefits and programs as stipulated in the Statutes.
Eligibility for Businesses
Since these programs are designed to encourage capital improvements to land and/or buildings, businesses must be prepared to either renovate an existing facility by investing at least 50% of its pre-acquisition value in the renovation, OR construct a new facility, OR expand an existing facility, OR acquire a facility that has been idle (minimum period of idleness depends on average number of employees).
Note: if the applicant is leasing this qualifying facility, the lease must be for at least five years with the option at that point to either 1) renew the lease for an aggregate term of not less than 10 years or 2) buy the facility. If the business averages fewer than 10 employees, those requirements may be reduced to aggregate leases of not less than six years or the option to purchase after three years.
How to Apply
For businesses seeking tax incentives and other benefits: Across all cities and towns that are approved by the DECD to participate in the Enterprise Zone program:
- Before starting any project, the business must first submit a formal request through the local economic development office of the municipality in order to obtain a Preliminary Questionnaire.
- If pre-qualified, the business would receive from the DECD a formal application and an invitation to apply.
- The business submits a complete application with required documentation to the DECD prior to October 1 of the year in which the project will be completed.
- If approved, DECD would issue a Certificate of Eligibility.
To view the designated municipal Enterprise Zone coordinators for this zone type, please refer to the Contact section.