Opportunity Zone

Governor Malloy has nominated an area in the Town of Groton as a designated Opportunity Zone

The Tax and Jobs Act was introduced to Congress on November 2, 2017. The Investing in Opportunity program was broadly supported on both sides of the political spectrum. A stock market boom at the end of 2017 showed that U.S. Corporations were holding $6.1 million in eligible funds for investing in Opportunity Zones.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 was signed by President Trump on December 22, 2017. It established the “Opportunity Zone” program which provides a federal tax incentive for investors to re-invest unrealized capital gains in low-income communities.

Groton's Census Tract 8702 received the Opportunity Zone designation. This tract includes commercial areas along Route 184 and Route 12.

The program is designed to funnel private investments into areas with potential for growth in particular ways such as the encouragement of transit oriented development, affordable housing, mixed use development, energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.

The Act said that each governor could designate up to 25 pct. of their qualified census tracts as “Opportunity Zones”.  A qualified census tract has a poverty rate of at least 20% or a median income that does not exceed 80 pct. of the area median income. For the Norwich-New London area 80 pct. of the median income is $68,000 for a family of four.

On February 27, 2018 the state of Connecticut invited cities and towns to apply. The deadline to send a completed application was March 16, 2018.

On April 20, 2018 Governor Malloy nominated 72 opportunity zones in 27 cities and towns in Connecticut. Groton competed in a very short timeline and was pleased to receive a designation for census tract #8702 which is a census tract with 3097 acres.  The tract has 48 vacant sites and contains residential, commercial, office and special design district zoning.  There are currently 246 building permits that are active within the tract.  The tract is accessible by transit on an existing SEAT Bus route and is adjacent to both Interstate 95 and State Route 184/Gold Star Highway.  The tract is adjacent to the Submarine Base NLON.  The Town is currently negotiating an RFP for a commercially zoned property on State Route 184/Gold Star Highway. The investment in these underutilized areas shows an exciting potential for the future as the benefits to both the investors in terms of preferential treatment for their capital gains and to add investment in these areas. The zones are intended to encourage new startups and expansion of existing businesses as well as real estate development.