I have focused a great deal of energy and attention in my first term as a State Representative on the issue of economic development. My highest priority has been to get the economy of the East Bay and the state moving in the right direction.
On the statewide level, I believe the General Assembly did that by dropping the corporate tax rate from 9% to 7%, the lowest in New England.
Another positive step taken in this year’s legislative session was expanding the Enterprise Zone in Portsmouth to several acres of land at the northern end of East Main Road. I sponsored this successful bill while working closely with William Clark, the Director of Business Development, and the Town Council, which requested the change to help spur job growth.
I strongly believe the Enterprise Zone program is a great tool for our communities to promote business growth. Businesses in the existing Portsmouth zone are already benefiting from the program, and adding this acreage to the zone increases the town’s opportunities to grow our economy.
Under this program, businesses opening and operating within a zone can qualify for tax credits for new jobs that are created. Other tax-saving options are available under the program for owners of member businesses who reside within the zone.
I am extremely excited about adding this tract to the existing zone because it contains about a half dozen retail businesses and about five acres for potential development. The existing zone, which was established in the late 1990’s, extends from East Main Road down to the area of the marine businesses.
Attracting business to Portsmouth and creating jobs for our residents is vital to the welfare of our town. The program is a creative and effective economic development tool and I look forward to new businesses taking advantage of the program and bringing new jobs to Portsmouth.