A public hearing is being held by the Danbury City Council tonight about an abatement on personal property taxes for information technology. The Danbury Tax Assessor's Office asked the Danbury City Council in October 2016 to approve an ordinance. It would give the City an option to abate personal property taxes on information technology. State law allows for municipalities to abate up to 100-percent of IT personal property taxes, with no other guidelines. The Danbury ordinance would abate 50-percent of the personal property taxes attributable to information technology personal property for use in a qualified data center.
The proposal outlines certain deadlines and criteria. It establishes that there be a $15 million minimum value for the qualifying property. The abatement would be for three years. New property added during that three year period would be eligible for another abatement.
Praxair asked for this kind of abatement, but the ordinance can't be tailored to Praxair, it's has to be available to anyone that wants to make an investment in Danbury. Councilman Paul Rotello was concerned because there's a limited amount of industrial property in the City and he doesn't want a company put up an empty building in order to get this abatement with no employees. He referred to it as a turn-key server farm, doing nothing else.
The public hearing is at 7pm and will be followed by a meeting of the Council.
A Praxair representative noted that after a nationwide search in 2015, the company decided to remain in Danbury and purchased a property on Riverview Drive. At that time, they also purchased a property in upstate New York specifically zoned for data centers. The company says data centers are attractive investments, not because of the amount of jobs they bring to an area, but because they bring tangible property with little to no drain on local resources like water and electric. There's also little impact on traffic.