DECD: Enterprise Zone Program Highlights

Connecticut's Enterprise Zone Program Highlights

[ Enterprise Zone Program Guide ] [ Enterprise Zone Program Contacts ]

Enterprise Zone Program – An Enterprise Zone is a designated area in a Targeted Investment Community. Incentive benefits are provided for eligible business relocation/expansion projects within the zone. Eligible businesses include manufacturers, warehouse distributors (new construction/expansion only) and certain designated service related businesses. Benefits include:

  1. A 5-year, 80% abatement of local property taxes on all qualifying real and personal property that are new to the Grand List of the city/town as a direct result of a business relocation, expansion or renovation project;
  2. 10-year, 25% or 50% credit on that portion of the Connecticut Corporate Business Tax that is directly attributable to this business relocation, expansion or renovation project as determined by the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services and as provided under section 12-217(e) of the Connecticut General Statutes.
  3. Exemption from real estate conveyance tax. 

In order to qualify for the 50% credit, at least 30% of the new employees must be residents of the Enterprise Zone or residents of the municipality in which the plant is located and eligible under the federal Workforce Investment Act (WIA). The local Connecticut Department of Labor Job Service Office is the contact concerning the availability of WIA eligible applicants.

Also, within an Enterprise Zone, residential and commercial property owners are eligible, by ordinance, for the fixing of assessments on all real property in such zone for improvements made to their properties which are improved during the period when such area is designated as an Enterprise Zone. The fixed assessment will be for a period of seven years from the time of such improvement and municipality shall defer any increase. Deferral on increased assessment due to improvements is as follows: 100% deferred in years 1 & 2, 50% in year 3, then declining 10% per year through year 7. These benefits are provided at the local level.


Entertainment Districts - With the approval of the commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development a Targeted Investment Community may designate an area an Entertainment District. Once an Entertainment District is designated certain entertainment-related types of businesses, as defined by statute, are eligible for full Enterprise Zone-level benefits if they complete an eligible project anywhere within the municipality. Within the Entertainment District any type of real property improvement is eligible for an enhanced property tax benefit. This is provided directly by the municipality. Presently, Bridgeport, New Britain, Stamford and Windham have designated Entertainment Districts.
Qualified Manufacturing Plant - Any Targeted Investment Community may, with the approval of the commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development, designate a vacant or underutilized manufacturing plant, with an area of at least 500,000 square feet, a Qualified Manufacturing Plant. An eligible company, completing an approved project in such a designated plant, is eligible for full Enterprise Zone-level benefits. Bristol and New Britain have received such designations.
Railroad Depot Zone - Any Targeted Investment Community may, with the approval of the commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development, designate an underutilized railroad depot area, located outside the boundaries of the existing Enterprise Zone, as a Railroad Depot Zone. Any eligible company, completing an approved project in such a zone, is eligible for full Enterprise Zone-level benefits. East Hartford, Hamden and Norwich have received such designations.
Urban Jobs Program - Benefits are provided for eligible projects taking place in a Targeted Investment Community, but outside of an Enterprise Zone. Eligible projects include manufacturers, warehouse distributors (new construction/expansion only) and certain designated service-related businesses. Benefits include:

  1. A 5-year, 80% abatement of local property taxes on all qualifying real and personal property that are new (note: existing real property which meets certification requirements is defined as new for the purpose of this program) to the Grand List of the city/town as a direct result of a business relocation, expansion or renovation project;
  2. A 10-year, 25% credit on that portion of the Connecticut corporation business tax that is attributable to this business relocation, expansion or renovation project as determined by the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services and as provided under Sec. 12-217(e) of the Connecticut General Statutes.

Urban Jobs benefits for service sector industries - for certain designated service businesses completing an eligible project in a targeted investment community but outside of the Enterprise Zone, benefits are provided on a sliding scale. Benefits are provided on the following basis:

      Property Tax Abatement

  1. Real property tax benefits for real estate are provided on a sliding scale basis. The minimum investment is $20 million to qualify for a five-year, forty percent tax abatement. This benefit increases to an eighty percent, five-year tax abatement for projects with an investment greater than $90 million.
  2. Personal property tax benefits for machinery and equipment are provided on a sliding scale basis. The minimum investment is $20 million to qualify for a five-year, forty percent tax abatement. This benefit increases to an eighty percent, five-year tax abatement for projects with an investment greater than $90 million. The equipment qualifies only if it is installed in a facility which has been newly constructed, substantially renovated or expanded.
      State Corporate Tax Credit     
Connecticut corporate business tax credits are provided for qualifying service facilities on a sliding scale basis based on new full-time jobs created. The minimum tax credit of 15% is allowed for service companies creating 300 or more but less than 599 new jobs. The benefit increases to 50% for such companies creating 2,000 or more new jobs at the eligible facility. The eligibility period for this tax credit is ten years.

Targeted Investment Communities (communities with an Enterprise Zone) include: Bridgeport, Bristol, East Hartford, Groton, Hamden, Hartford, Meriden, Middletown, New Britain, New Haven, New London, Norwalk, Norwich, Southington, Stamford, ThomastonWaterbury and Windham.


Contiguous Municipality Zone –  Any eligible business, completing an approved project in such a zone, will be eligible for full Enterprise Zone-level benefits. Per statute, any municipality with such a zone is not a Targeted Investment Community.  The town of Plainville has been approved for such a zone designation.
Defense Plant Zone - The towns of Stratford and Cheshire have been approved to designate a vacant former defense manufacturing facility a Defense Plant Zone. Any eligible business, completing an approved project in this facility, will be eligible for full Enterprise Zone-level benefits. Any municipality with such a zone designation is not a Targeted Investment Community.
Manufacturing Plant Zone - Any eligible business completing an approved project within such a designated zone will be eligible for full Enterprise Zone-level benefits. Any municipality with such a zone designation is not a Targeted Investment Community. The town of Bloomfield has been approved for such a zone designation.
Bradley Airport Development Zone - This zone establishes tax incentives for manufacturers and certain related businesses that build or substantially renovate facilities in the area and create new jobs. Enterprise Zone-level benefits will be available to businesses that manufacture, process or assemble raw materials or parts; perform manufacturing-related research and development; or significantly service, overhaul or rebuild industrial machinery and equipment. Warehousing and motor freight businesses can qualify for tax incentives if they can demonstrate their business is dependent on goods shipped by air, while service companies – including information technology companies – can also qualify for credits if they can demonstrate their business is related to the airport. The zone, located around Bradley International Airport, will include specified census blocks within the towns of East Granby, Suffield, Windsor and Windsor Locks.
Bioscience Enterprise Corridor Zone – This zone is for eligible businesses that do not have more than three hundred employees at any time during the preceding twelve months and is engaged in bioscience, biotechnology, pharmaceutical or photonics research, development or production in the state. The definition of bioscience has been included for businesses engaged in the study of genes, cells, tissues, and chemical and physical structures of living organisms. Enterprise zone-level benefits will include certain businesses and commercial properties in certain census blocks, groups and tracts in Farmington, Hartford, Bristol, New Britain and Plainville.
Enterprise Corridor Zone – Enterprise Corridor Zones are located along Route 8 South and Route 8 North in the state’s Naugatuck Valley and Interstate 395 in the Northeastern region of the state. The benefits available in an Enterprise Corridor Zone are the same as in an Enterprise Zone, subject to the similar qualifying terms and conditions. Benefits include:

  1. A 5-year, 80% abatement of local property taxes on all qualifying real and personal property that are new (note: existing real property which meets certification requirements is defined as new for the purpose of this program) to the Grand List of the city/town as a result of the business expansion or renovation project.
  2. A 10-year, 25% or 50% credit on that portion of the Connecticut corporate business tax that is directly attributable to this business relocation, expansion or renovation project as determined by the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services and as provided under Section 12-217(e) of the Connecticut General Statutes.

In order to qualify for the 50% credit, at least 30% of the new employees must be residents of the municipality in which the plant is located and eligible under the federal Workforce Investment Act (WIA). The local Connecticut Department of Labor Job Service Office is the contact concerning the availability of WIA eligible applicants.

The communities located in the corridor zones are: Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Derby, Griswold, Killingly, Lisbon, Naugatuck, Plainfield, Putnam, Seymour, Sprague, Sterling, Thompson, Torrington and Winchester. Benefits for eligible projects in an Enterprise Corridor Zone are identical to those in an Enterprise Zone. However, municipalities in the Enterprise Corridor Zones are not classified as Targeted Investment Communities, and are therefore not eligible to extend Urban Jobs benefits.

Details concerning business eligibility, project eligibility and the application and certification process are defined in the Enterprise Zone Program Guide.