The town of Berlin is offering new incentives to attract new businesses. It's giving big tax cuts to any restaurants that open up or expand in the downtown area.
Farmington Avenue is the area that town leaders are hoping to revitalize. They said new restaurants are the key to boosting this local economy.
"Drawing people, they shop at other businesses, it works for everybody," said Economic Development Director Jim Mahoney.
Town leaders said they're doing whatever they can to bring new restaurants to Berlin.
And that means offering big tax cuts. Berlin Town Council changed the tax abatement rules last week. Mahoney said the idea is more restaurants mean more people coming to Berlin.
"Say you opened a new business, instead of being taxed at the full rate for the real estate, you would only be taxed 50 percent the first year and then 60 percent the second, and then 30 the third," he said.
Officials said the tax cuts would apply to new businesses too that choose to make renovations or improvements.
Jeffrey Forgoine told Eyewitness News his family business has been in Berlin for 80 years. He said business is slower than usual lately and there's been a need for change for a long time. Forgoine said he thinks the tax cuts are good idea.
"It's good for the economy," Forgoine said. "It's good for the businesses and it will help develop this main area."
Town leaders said the cuts wouldn't apply to fast food chains, only "sit-down" restaurants.
It also applies to new retail shops and other types of businesses.
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