Businesses looking to invest in Trumbull received an incentive recently as the Town Council voted to approve a tax abatement program for major relocations or expansions.

According to Economic and Community Development Director Edward Lavernoich, the program will provide 30% tax breaks for up to five years for businesses that are deemed desirable to the community.

"This ordinance is intended to help with worthwhile projects that might not otherwise happen," Lavernoich said. "It makes us competitive with other towns in the region when it comes to attracting worthwhile development."

Companies wishing to take advantage of the program would need to submit an application to a screening committee consisting of Town Council and Economic Development Commission members. If the commission recommends the project, the Town Council would then decide if it believed the project was a good one for Trumbull.

There are two levels of tax breaks available. Relocations or expansions valued at $500,000 or more are eligible for a 30% break on their assessments for two years. Projects over $3 million are eligible for 30% breaks for five years. Businesses planning larger-scale development could also apply for larger and longer breaks, but would be required to submit to an intensive review, including financial disclosures.

First Selectman Timothy Herbst lauded the council's passing of the abatement plan, calling it an effective program to grow the commercial tax base and stabilize residential property taxes.

"We are in an era when the competition for new business investment is greater than ever before," Herbst said. "The Business Tax Incentive Program ordinance is intended to allow Trumbull to compete with every town in the region for that investment."

Herbst said that at a time when businesses in Connecticut have openly decried the cost of doing business in the state, the tax abatement ordinance allows officials at the local level to help ease the burden.