The Future of Retail in Connecticut

March 6, 2017

Part of my responsibility in Hartford is to make sure New Haven gets its fair share of dollars. An equally important responsibility is to protect New Haven’s current tax base. To that end, I have filed legislation, Proposed Bill 6100, “An Act Concerning the Future of Retail in Connecticut” and testified before the Legislature’s Commerce Committee.

The bill directs the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development to develop a strategic plan for the future of the retail sector in Connecticut. Although this would represent a shift for the department, it could provide an opportunity to evaluate the contribution in taxes and possible strategies to reduce costs, notably energy.

Retail is an important source of jobs and revenue, both in sales taxes and property taxes for municipalities. But as we know, retail has changed dramatically with the advent of on line shopping. Some companies have adapted better than others, but nationally many stores have closed. The loss of brick and mortar retail has implications for local jobs, and importantly for the tax base of our towns.

We hope a strategic plan will help help strengthen the tax base of New Haven and other towns and help retailers develop the tools compete in a changing landscape.