Planning & Development Bills Move Forward

March 12, 2014

Senator Kelly applauds advancement of bills supporting Point Stratford redevelopment and tax relief for members of the armed forces.

Hartford – State Senator Kevin Kelly (R-21) applauds the General Assembly’s Planning and Development Committee for voting two bills out of committee today. These bills, now on their way to the House floor and Finance Committee respectively, include House Bill No. 5368 An Act Establishing the Point Stratford Infrastructure Improvement District within the Town of Stratford and Senate Bill No. 266 An Act Concerning Property Tax Relief for Members of the Armed Forces on Active Duty Outside of the United States.

“I am thrilled to see both these bills move forward,” said Senator Kelly. “I proposed the concepts for each of these bills with the intentions of helping two groups of people: the community of Stratford and members of our armed forces. I thank the members of Planning & Development for recognizing the importance of each.”

Point Stratford

The bill concerning Point Stratford, now on its way to the House floor, establishes the Point Stratford Infrastructure Improvement District. Creating this special tax district would enable Stratford to begin a large-scale redevelopment project around the Stratford Army Engine Plant brownfield located on the banks of the Housatonic River.

“Moving forward with this legislation brings us one step closer to making Point Stratford redevelopment a reality,” said Senator Kelly. “By creating a special tax district, we will have a path to funding necessary infrastructure improvements that will transform our community, encouraging the establishment of new businesses and new jobs.”

The Stratford Delegation requested that the Planning and Development Committee raise this bill to create a special taxing district in Stratford. The bipartisan Stratford Delegation includes Sen. Kelly, Sen. Andres Ayala, Jr. (D-23), Rep. Terry Backer (D-121), Rep. Laura Hoydick (R-120) and Rep. Lawrence Miller (R-122).

If the bill is signed into law by the General Assembly, a special tax district would be established to give Stratford access to significant financing for infrastructure development. The tax district would include 78.32 total acres in southern Stratford, inclusive of the dormant Stratford Army Engine Plant. Funding would support infrastructure improvements to make the area suitable for restaurants, shops, offices and new homes along the waterfront. The mixed used space would enable economic development and promote job growth in Stratford.

Tax Relief for Armed Forces

The bill concerning tax relief for members of the armed forces on active duty outside the United States, S.B. No.266, is now on its way to the Finance Committee. This legislation would expand a current tax relief law to apply to all individuals serving outside of the country – anywhere in the world. Currently, Connecticut residents on active duty in Iraq or Afghanistan are not charged interest on delinquent property taxes during their time abroad for a period of one year. This bill would expand the law to include all those serving on active duty anywhere outside of the United States.

The legislation would also remove the current one year period during which municipalities cannot charge or collect interest, therefore assisting active duty residents who are deployed for longer than one year.

“If an individual is serving our country on active duty outside of the United States, it should not matter in what country he or she is serving. Rather, everyone serving overseas on active duty, anywhere in the world away from home, should be treated equally,” said Senator Kelly. “Since deployments can also extend many years, we need to eliminate the current one year limit to respect the entire length of deployments.”

“This bill makes two needed changes to our current legislation to ensure that municipalities better assist the men and women who risk their lives for our nation every day,” said Senator Kelly.