Public hearing scheduled on state Sen. Martin’s proposal to establish enterprise zone in Plymouth (Rep. Am.)

February 13, 2019

Martin Rep Am

PLYMOUTH — State Sen. Henri Martin, R-Bristol, will be speaking Thursday in favor of his proposed bill that would establish an enterprise zone in Plymouth.

The hearing is scheduled to take place at 11 a.m. in Room 2E of the Legislative Office Building, 300 Capital Ave., Hartford.

The enterprise zone program offers tax incentives to startup businesses and property improvement projects in the designated zone. Also, businesses that move into the zone can receive tax-abatement plans.

Martin said in past years, the state reimbursed municipalities for the tax abatements. However, he noted during last year’s budget season the enterprise zone program was defunded and municipalities no longer received that state reimbursement.

“What used to be a tool for businesses and for economic development isn’t a tool anymore,” Martin said. “Should Plymouth qualify and be granted an enterprise zone, the town will be on the hook for those tax abatements, unless they refund the program.”

During Thursday’s hearing with the Commission of Economic and Community Development, Martin said he plans to get clarification if Plymouth would get any tax-abatement reimbursements, what area of town would become the enterprise zone, the qualifications needed to become an enterprise zone and whether Plymouth meets those qualifications.

Enterprise zones must meet specific poverty criteria and allow industrial and commercial uses, according to a 2016 research report on the enterprise zone program by the Office of Legislative Research.

“I think this would be for our downtown area, and would be another tool for us and something to offer new businesses as they move into town,” Mayor David V. Merchant said. “This would be good for the town and something to attract businesses to the community.”

Towns and cities that have enterprise zones include Wallingford, Bridgeport, Bristol, East Hartford, Groton, Hamden, Hartford, Meriden, Middletown, New Britain, New Haven, New London, Norwalk, Norwich, Southington, Stamford, Thomaston, Waterbury and Windham. The zones typically are established in downtown areas.

Public hearing scheduled on state Sen. Martin’s proposal to establish enterprise zone in Plymouth