New Haven has significant vacant and underutilized land between downtown and the hospital, betweendowntown and the train station and between downtown and Wooster Square. This land is a uniquedevelopment opportunity. We should use it to create new office towers that pay taxes and are filledwith the new businesses.
But building new buildings and capitalizing on the hospital’s growth is not enough. We must create a
serious new approach to growing business to create jobs and lower taxes. This includes the following:
Support all of the entrepreneurial new companies coming out of all of the six colleges anduniversities in and just outside New Haven. We need to work with all of our college partners tohelp them keep these new entrepreneurial companies in New Haven. We have seen this withHigher One
and it works.
Put the arts front and center to make New Haven into a destination. New Haven needs tocapitalize on the arts for the tourism revenue that they generate and for the quality of life whichwill make people want to live here and companies want to grow here.
Recognize that Union Station is a transportation hub for New England and use it as just that.Develop around the station, with a combination of tax paying new office buildings, residencesand retail. Create a business corridor starting at Union Station and leading to downtown. Andbuild the second parking garage at the station immediately.
Significantly improve the New Haven Public Schools. This will have three impacts: (1) ensurethat New Haven children are being prepared for the jobs that are going to grow here; (2)encourage businesses to open in New Haven because they believe they can hire locally; and (3)keep companies from moving elsewhere because they are concerned that they cannot getemployees to come to New Haven because the schools are not good enough.
Work neighborhood by neighborhood to rebuild commercial corridors.
Cut crime. The perception and reality of crime in New Haven stops businesses of all sizes fromgrowing in the city.
Create the impression and reality that New Haven is a pro-business and pro-growth city.
Stabilize and then Lower Taxes
New Haven residents simply pay too much in taxes and those taxes have been going up. Henry’s vision
of economic growth is the only structural way to lower taxes. But we need to do the followingimmediately to begin to provide relief:
Do not use one time gimmicks to balance the budget. Selling streets to Yale may fill a budgethole but that hole just reappears next year.
Build a coalition with other impacted towns and cities to ensure that PILOT is fully funded by theState of Connecticut. If the State legislature met its statutory obligation to the City of NewHaven then taxes would not go up.
Repair the City’s credit
rating. This requires balancing the budget without using one timerevenue sources, increasing reserves, and articulating a clear vision for economic growth. Abetter credit rating means that borrowing costs less and provides the opportunity for the city torefinance more expensive debt.