2017 CEDAS Policy Agenda

Public Policy Updates

 

2017 Follow-up

In 2016, CEDAS supported legislation to create a brownfields Land Bank.  Land Banks are a specialized form of non-profits created for the express purpose of acquiring, remediating, and redeveloping brownfield sites.  Legislation would enable certified Land Banks to avail themselves of the municipal/agency powers and rights that other non-profit and developers do not have, including access to all of the state’s liability relief programs and the ability to receive grants.

The legislation was approved by the legislature but vetoed by Governor Malloy.  Malloy was concerned that the Land Banks would impinge on state revenues at a time when the state is experiencing financial difficulties.  Technical changes have been made to the 2016 legislation and it is expected to be adopted this year.

 

2017 Recommendation

Send a Positive Message Regarding State’s Business Climate

Connecticut needs to do something to renew confidence in the business community. The legislature should take action to communicate to the business community that it is committed to improving the business climate in the state. 

Taxes
Get rid of the business entity tax (generates $40 - $44 million annual). This bi-annual $250 tax is considered a nuisance tax. Given that over 80% of all new jobs, and 90% of all new capital investments come from existing business the positive message this move would reflect very well on Connecticut. To mitigate the financial impact to the state’s budget a portion of this revenue could be added to the annual fees collected by the Secretary of State’s Office.

Improve the Climate for Redevelopment
Connecticut should improve its legislation enabling Land Banks and redevelopment organizations to assemble brownfields and other properties that are critical to redevelopment in Connecticut communities.

Welcome Immigrants
Connecticut should position itself as a destination for the best and brightest to relocate to.

Commitment to Training
Connecticut should maintain funding to technical high schools and incumbent worker training programs.

Eliminate unnecessary regulatory requirements at the state and local level

  • State – should continue to explore lean opportunities in all state agencies and simplify its regulations. Ensure that regulations are reviewed every five years.
  • Local – CEDAS will promote reducing local regulations and streamline review processes to improve Connecticut’s business climate by employing best practices in land use. The focus will be on better defining what decisions need administrative versus land use board, water and sewer commission reviews.

 

Local Regulatory Review

The CEDAS Policy Committee is recommending the pursuit of a best practices designation for communities that pursue excellence in the handling of its planning and economic development practices.  The policy committee recommends that a “CEDAS” Regulatory Review Process be explored in concert with other interested organizations including but not limited to the CT Planning Association, CCM, COST, Main Street, Land Use Lawyers etc.  As of result of this collaboration CEDAS will provide Process Mapping and seal of approval to communities that follow best practices in its review of economic development applications.  Components of the review might include, but are not limited to:

  • Staff meetings
  • Ombudsman
  • Professional punch list
  • Mission statement
  • Regulatory vs. administrative review
  • Reaching out to recent applicants for feedback. 

 

Transparency Bill

As part of the public policy committee's review of local regulatory procedures, the committee continues to assess the impacts of a transparency bill that was passed last session, titled, AN ACT CONCERNING MUNICIPAL APPLICATIONS FOR LAND USE PERMITS AND TAX ABATEMENTS.  The new law went into effect on October 1st and the committee did not find a case where it had been implemented.  The public policy committee will continue to monitor this topic.

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