[Adopted 10-14-2014 STM]
It is hereby found and declared that an economic development tax incentive program is necessary to aid in the location of new businesses to the Town of North Haven and the expansion of existing businesses to strengthen the Town of North Haven's tax base. This article of Chapter 184 of the Ordinances of the Town of North Haven is enacted pursuant to Section 12-65b of the Connecticut General Statutes and seeks to maintain and enhance the Town of North Haven as a desirable and competitive business location.
Definitions. When used in this article, the terms below shall have the following meanings:
- Any real property owner or lessee of real property responsible for payment of taxes on real property in the Town of North Haven pursuant to the terms of a written or proposed lease agreement applying for an economic development tax incentive.
- ASSESSED VALUE
- The assessed value as determined by the Assessor of the Town of North Haven.
- DEVELOPMENT PROJECT
- Any real estate development project involving new construction or expansion of existing space.
- Addition(s) to existing building(s).
- SUBSTANTIAL COMPLETION
- Date upon which building under construction is available for use for its intended purpose.
- TOTAL COST OF IMPROVEMENTS
- The cost to create new space for private business activities, including construction and expansion of buildings (foundation, walls, roof, electrical, mechanical, HVAC, etc.) and all site work, including paving, curbing, landscaping, fencing, drainage, and utilities.
This economic development tax incentive program shall be available to manufacturing, storage, warehousing, distribution, office, information technology, and recreational facilities and transient residential businesses limited to hotels, with or without an interior or attached restaurant(s), locating to or located in all areas of the Town of North Haven. The program shall not apply to residential developments, retail businesses, or restaurants.
Applications will only be accepted for improvements to real property. This article does not provide for tax incentives on personal property.
If multiple uses are proposed or operating at the real property involved (e.g., office and retail), the tax incentives offered herein shall only apply to new construction or expansion related to the qualifying uses identified in § 184-30B(1) above.
Applicants are encouraged to consider and make a good faith effort, to the extent feasible, to utilize Town residents and Town-based businesses during both the construction and operation phases.
Based upon approval of this article by the legislative body of the Town of North Haven, the Assessor of the Town of North Haven will initially determine an applicant's eligibility for the economic development tax incentive program and verify the total cost of real property improvements, and the Board of Selectmen of the Town of North Haven may exercise the Town's statutory authority under Connecticut General Statutes Section 12-65b to enter into an agreement with an eligible applicant fixing the assessment of the applicant's real property.
Application and review process.
Applications for economic development tax incentives set forth below in § 184-32 for development projects limited to new construction and expansion shall be submitted to the Assessor for the Town of North Haven on forms prepared by the Assessor.
Applications for economic development tax incentives must be submitted prior to construction of any proposed new structure or in the case of an expansion, prior to construction of an addition(s) to an existing building(s).
The Assessor will review all applications and initially determine an applicant's eligibility.
If eligibility is determined in an applicant's favor, the Assessor will submit a recommendation and written analysis to the Board of Selectmen along with a draft tax incentive agreement for its consideration.
Tax incentive agreement.
Upon receipt and review of the Assessor's recommendation and written analysis and the draft tax incentive agreement, the Board of Selectmen shall vote to approve the tax incentive agreement with the terms recommended by the Assessor or vote to deny the tax incentive agreement. In the event of approval, the Board of Selectmen shall also authorize execution of the tax incentive agreement by the First Selectman. Nothing in this article shall require the Board of Selectmen to approve any tax incentive agreement.
In the circumstance where the lessee is the applicant, the real property owner and the lessee must execute the tax incentive agreement.
The tax incentive agreement shall be expressly contingent upon the verification of the total cost of improvements by the Assessor when the qualifying real property improvements have reached substantial completion through review of construction contracts, payment applications, requisitions, proof of payments, certification by the applicant, and such other documentation as is requested by the Assessor to verify construction costs.
When the Assessor has verified the total cost of improvements to his/her satisfaction, the Assessor shall confirm such verification, in writing, to the real property owner, and the Assessor shall have the authority to reduce the assessed value of the new construction or expansion in accordance with the schedule contained below in § 184-32.
The following schedule of economic development tax incentives shall be available based upon the total cost of improvements to real property, in the form of an adjustment or reduction in the assessed value of that portion of the real property comprised of the qualifying new construction or expansion, by the percentage noted:*
As the above schedule suggests, at the conclusion of the adjustment period for the successive tax years, the real property owner shall be responsible for paying 100% of the real property taxes due.
Adjustment of assessed value shall commence on the October 1 Grand List following the verification of the total cost of improvements by the Assessor as confirmed by the Assessor, in writing, to the real property owner.
Any applicant delinquent in any real or personal property taxes, motor vehicle taxes, sewer use charges or assessments, fees, charges, fines, interest, penalties, and/or liens to the Town of North Haven shall not be eligible for incentives unless the applicant has entered into an acceptable agreement with the Tax Collector of the Town of North Haven or the Town of North Haven to pay the delinquent taxes, sewer use charges or assessments, fees, charges, fines, interest, penalties, and/or liens and is in compliance with the terms of the agreement.
If an applicant receiving incentives becomes delinquent in any real or personal property taxes, motor vehicle taxes, sewer use charges or assessments, fees, charges, fines, interest, penalties, and/or liens to the Town of North Haven at any time during the incentive period and does not enter into acceptable repayment arrangements with the Tax Collector or the Town of North Haven or defaults upon the repayment arrangements, the incentives shall cease and the property owner shall be liable for paying not only the delinquent taxes, sewer use charges or assessments, fees, charges, fines, interest, penalties, and/or lines, but also all taxes adjusted or reduced pursuant to the tax incentive agreement to the date of delinquency.
For the purposes of this section, delinquency shall be determined in accordance with Connecticut General Statutes Section 12-146.
Applicants acknowledge that by participating in this economic development tax incentive program, a commitment is being made to the Town of North Haven by the applicant. If an applicant or property owner receiving economic development tax incentives substantially reduces its operations on its real property, attempts to assign its rights under its agreement with the Town of North Haven for tax incentives, sells or otherwise transfers the real estate involved, or declares bankruptcy during the applicable three-, five-, or seven-year adjustment period identified in § 184-32, then any tax incentive benefit received by the applicant under this program shall be forfeited and the applicant shall be required to pay back all the taxes that would have been assessed had the applicant not participated in the program. However, in the circumstance where a lessee is an applicant and the lessee remains and continues to do business at the real property, the tax incentive benefit shall continue. Any unpaid tax imposed pursuant to the provisions of this section shall constitute a lien upon the real property. Each such lien may be continued, recorded, and released in the manner provided by Connecticut General Statutes for continuing, recording, and releasing property tax liens. In order to maintain eligibility, the Assessor of the Town of North Haven may require property owners to submit affidavits of eligibility on an annual basis.
[Amended 11-15-2016 STM]
Fees required to obtain local building permits (excluding fees/charges by the State of Connecticut, including the state-mandated education fee) may be abated or reduced pursuant to this article according to the following limitations:
Recording of tax incentive agreement required. In order to receive an abatement or reduction of required local building permit fees, the applicant must have an executed tax incentive agreement with the Town that has been recorded on the Town's land records.
Additional eligibility requirements. An abatement or reduction of required local building permit fees will only be considered for manufacturing, storage, warehousing, distribution, office, information technology, and transient residential businesses limited to hotels, with or without an interior or attached restaurant(s), locating to or located in all areas of the Town of North Haven, which make, or cause to be made, a capital investment in taxable personal property and improvements to real property equal to or greater than $100,000,000. A reduction of building permit fees shall not be available to recreational facilities, residential developments, retail businesses, or restaurants. In addition, the applicant must not be delinquent on the payment of any taxes, fees, and/or charges due to the Town of North Haven at the time of submission of the application or at any time thereafter. "Taxable" personal property and improvements to real property means property that is on the Town's Grand List and subject to taxation by the Town.
Percentage of abatement. Businesses which make, or cause to be made, a capital investment in taxable personal property and improvements to real property which are equal to or greater than $100,000,000 shall be eligible to receive a reduction of 25% in building permit fees, and businesses which make a capital investment in taxable personal property and improvements to real property which are equal to or greater than $200,000,000 shall be eligible to receive a reduction of 50% in building permit fees. The abatement is subject to verification of the amount of the capital investment by the Town's Building Official in the manner set forth in § 184-31B of this article.
Process for approval of abatement. The Board of Selectmen will consider and vote upon each application for abatement of local building permit fees. The Board of Selectmen may establish such terms and conditions regarding this incentive as it deems appropriate and nothing herein shall require the Board of Selectmen to approve any application for abatement of local building permit fees. In the event an application is approved by the Board of Selectmen, the Board of Selectmen shall authorize the execution of such fee reduction by the First Selectman.
This article shall take effect 15 days after publication of the article in a newspaper having a circulation in the Town of North Haven and shall remain in effect through October 31, 2024, such that the Assessor of the Town of North Haven will not accept any applications for economic development tax incentives subsequent to October 31, 2024.