Connecticut is one of the only states in the country that has made it even more attractive to invest in its Opportunity Zones by streamlining processes, prioritizing state incentives and extending tax credits.
Extension of Existing Tax Credit for OZ Projects
Outside of Opportunity Zones, the CT Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit Program offers a 25% tax credit on qualified rehabilitation expenditures associated with the rehabilitation of a Certified Historic Structure. But if the project is located within one of Connecticut's federally designated Opportunity Zone or includes an affordable housing component (provided at least 20% of the rental units or 10% of the for-sale units qualify), this Historic Rehabilitation Credit increases to 30% for projects located within Connecticut's Opportunity Zones.
To qualify for this credit:
- The structure must be rehabilitated in a manner consistent with the historic character of such property and be rehabilitated for 1) residences of five units or more; 2) mixed residential and nonresidential use; or 3) nonresidential use.
- the expenses must be hard costs associated with the rehabilitation. Note site improvements and non-construction costs are excluded from this credit.
Better yet, you may combine these state tax credits with the 20% Federal Historic Preservation Tax Credits provided the project qualifies under federal law as a substantial rehabilitation of depreciable property as defined by the Internal Revenue Service.
Prioritization of OZ Projects for Certain Credits
Connecticut may prioritize projects located within its Opportunity Zones for the Urban and Industrial Site Reinvestment Tax Credit Program. This program allows for a dollar-to-dollar corporate tax credit of up to 100% of capital investment on eligible projects with a minimum investment of $5 million in distressed communities and $50 million in all other communities.
The credits can be used over 10 years according to the following schedule:
- Years 1–3: 0%
- Years 4–7: 10%
- Years 8–10: 20%
If the investor is not in a position to take advantage of the earned credits, credits can be carried forward for five consecutive years or be transferred to another corporate taxpayer to be used in the same year the credits were earned.
The DECD Commissioner may also give preference to Brownfield Remediation projects located in Opportunity Zones — if a bonding bill is passed and additional Brownfield funding is available.
State Sale of Vacant Buildings within Zones
To encourage additional development, DECD has been authorized by the legislature to identify, market and ultimately sell up to 10 vacant state-owned properties located in Opportunity Zones.
Various agencies within Connecticut state government are also working collaboratively to identify other incentives to maximize the investment in Connecticut’s Opportunity Zones.