Bill giving tax breaks for businesses around Bradley Airport heads to governor for signature

bill aimed at enticing businesses to open in the towns surrounding Bradley International Airport is headed for the governor’s desk.

The bill that passed almost unanimously by the House Tuesday provides tax breaks and exemptions for existing and startup manufacturing businesses.

The bipartisan bill will “help expand jobs in this state,” said Rep. Mike Alberts of Woodstock, ranking Republican on the Commerce Committee.

Manufacturing businesses electing to build and hire new employees in “distressed” portions of East Granby, Suffield, Windsor Locks and Windsor will qualify for the 5-year tax credit and exemption.

During a public hearing last month, Windsor Town Manager Peter P. Souza said there is more than 1,000 acres of undeveloped land “not reaching its full potential.”

Officials from all the affected towns testified they support the the Bradley Development Zone, saying it has the potential to jumpstart the economy in their towns.

The legislature’s budget office estimates the measure will cost the state $205,000 a year in lost revenue beginning in 2014.

But Sen. Gary D. LeBeau, D-East Hartford, co-chairman of the Commerce Committee, said the loss would be more than made up for by the jobs and new businesses the tax cuts would create.

It is unclear if Gov. M. Jodi Rell will sign the bill.