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State Senator

James Maroney

Representing Milford, Orange, West Haven and Woodbridge

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Maroney Advocates For Bill to Rejuvenate Underserved Communities

This week, State Senator James Maroney (D-Milford) gave public testimony on his proposed legislation to make Opportunity Zones (OZs) more attractive to investors and create jobs. Sen. Maroney said this legislation will help to economically revitalize certain areas of the state and 14th District.

“We have two Opportunity Zones in West Haven,” said Sen. Maroney. “This business-friendly legislation will present opportunities for development, investment and job creation in the OZs in West Haven, and OZs across the state. When businesses see the entirety of our state as a place where they can grow and thrive, it creates jobs for our residents and bolsters our economy.”

If passed, Senate Bill No. 570, “AN ACT CONCERNING OPPORTUNITY ZONES,” will put systems in place to incentivize businesses investing in underserved communities. This legislation comes after Opportunity Zones were created in 2017 as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

An Opportunity Zone is defined by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as an economically-distressed community where new investments, under certain conditions, may be eligible for preferential tax treatment.

The proposed legislation will do some of the following:

  • Appoint an ombudsperson within the state’s Department of Economic and Community Development to assist municipalities in establishing tax increment financing zones and advising municipalities on how to best use these zones to attract business.
  • Mandate no less than 15 percent is spent in the designated area.
  • Create incentives for businesses partaking in the Small Business Express Program to move to opportunity zones.
  • Establish training programs for municipalities that want to use tax increment funds for workforce development.

Sen. Maroney said his proposed legislation will enable investors to reap the tax benefits that come with investing in an Opportunity Zone, while ensuring underserved areas are being rejuvenated economically.

“I want to encourage job and economic growth in our district and state,” said Sen. Maroney. “This is a much-needed step in the right direction for our communities and our state’s economy.”

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