A business tax incentive program will benefit the town and won't leave taxpayers to pick up the difference, said Ed Lavernoich, Trumbull's Economic Development Director.
The council passed the ordinance 14-2, with two abstentions. It replaces the previous program.
Lavernoich said the new ordinance creates "a competitive situation for the town where they will match the lowest real estate taxes in the region for new commercial real estate development."
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The ordinance also:
- Requires projects to to attain leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification, unless specifically waived by the Town Council;
- Gives the town has "sole and absolute discretion" to grant approval of a tax incentive;
- Creates a standard tax incentive schedule for approved projects, intended to compete with the lowest property taxes in the region;
- Establishes limited circumstances under which tax incentives may be assigned from an owner to a subsequent owner. The program would last for three years, unless it is renewed or re-adopted by the Town Council;
- Requires property owners with tax incentives to be in good standing, and gives time limits to correct problems;
- Requires applicants to have permanent record keeping related to all applications submitted to the town;
- Encourages private investment for business real estate projects, rather than residential development.
Finally, the ordinance autmatically "sunsets" in three years if unsuccessful or does not attract investors.
In response to Town Council questions, Lavernoich explained that businessowners will have a reduced level of taxes under the ordinance but the town will still receive more in taxes on the subject properties.
In his experience, a company that has made a capital investment of hundreds of thousands dollars does not typcially leave after five years.