Economic & Community Development
The City of Norwalk’s Department of Economic and Community Development is exploring a variety of planning tools and options to spark growth, business support and attraction to the downtown neighborhoods of South Norwalk and Wall Street-West Avenue. These options include the expansion of the Enterprise Zone and the implementation of a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District.
Norwalk has had Enterprise Zone benefits since 1982 in South Norwalk. Since its inception, the City has seen 4 properties take advantage of the program. Recent examples include Ironworks, the SoNo Hotel, and the SoNo Collection. This tool can be used to expand the frequency of transformational projects, and provide new opportunities in the Wall Street-West Avenue neighborhood.
Tax Increment Financing District
Changes to CT state legislation around Tax Increment Financing Districts have provided a new and viable option for the area to create small business support programs. Through the use of TIF, municipalities typically divert future property tax revenue increases from a defined area toward an economic development project or public improvement project or program in the designated geography. That plan can include storefront improvement programs, streetscape improvements, rent subsidy programs, and many other small-scale programs.
TIF subsidies are not appropriated directly from a city’s budget but the city incurs loss through foregone tax revenue as tax revenue for that geography is lock-boxed for that area and TIF financial plan. The TIF Financial plan is created and vetted via a public planning process.