Saud Anwar

State Senator

Saud Anwar

Deputy President Pro Tempore

Working For You

June 3, 2019

Senator Anwar Joins Senate Approval Of Legislation Studying Better Development Of Opportunity Zones

HARTFORD, CT – Today, State Senator Saud Anwar (D-South Windsor) joined the Senate in approving legislation promoting a study and assessment of Connecticut opportunity zones, also adding new incentives to their future development. The study is designed to encourage the development of areas around the state seen as disadvantaged.

“Opportunity zones are a chance for our state to support its disadvantaged communities,” said Sen. Anwar. “By adding new ways to advertise and promote the development of these areas and sites all across our state, we can potentially bolster our towns and cities with new business on sites currently not used. This could represent new jobs, new homes and new opportunities for so many across Connecticut.”

Senate Bill No. 570, “An Act Concerning Opportunity Zones,” tasks the Commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development with hosting a series of at least five events advertising federal designed opportunity zones in Connecticut. An opportunity zone is an area created to attract private development in the most “challenged but promising” areas of the state, with the intent of improving economic growth, community wealth, business development, housing opportunities and infrastructure. There are 72 total opportunity zones in Connecticut across 27 separate municipalities.

In addition to the events, the Commissioner is also asked to conduct a study of opportunity zones and determine how the state can further incentivize their use. This includes finding potential investors, state incentive programs and bonding, among other strategies, to better appeal to potential developers. Additionally, permit applications for opportunity zone development would receive expedited review as a further incentive.

Further changes under the legislation include further incentives for development of opportunity zones. This includes rating criteria for development applications considering rehabilitation of historic structures in opportunity zones to receive priority treatment, tax credits of 30 percent for rehabilitation in opportunity zones, and sales and use tax exemptions for projects in opportunity zones investing at least $2.5 million into the local area.