Council Asks to Recertify Economic Revitalization Zones

The Derry Town Council has requested that the state recertify Economic Revitalization Zone (ERZ) E and expand Economic Revitalization Zone D.

Planning Director George Sioras spoke on the two zones at the April 5 Town Council meeting.

Sioras explained that ERZs are established to offer short-term Business Profits Tax credits for projects that improve infrastructure and create jobs. Business owners or developers may apply for a five-year tax break if they improve their property. They may receive up to $40,000 per year in tax credits.

Sioras said that Derry applied for five ERZ zones in 2009. The New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development (DRED) rejected three of the zones as not meeting the criteria, but allowed the designation for the Central Business District (Zone D) and Manchester Road (Zone E).

The state requires a review of the zones every five years, according to Sioras. This year, he said, staff recommends the expansion of Zone D up to the intersection of Tsienneto and Folsom roads.

Sioras said the town should also consider establishing an ERZ zone on Route 28 South, where the town has begun expanding sewer and water services.

To date, no companies have applied to DRED for the tax credit, Sioras said.

But he and assistant Elizabeth Robidoux continue to push the opportunity to business owners who come to their office, he said.

Sioras said, “It is one more tool to both expand the tax base and give business owners a tax break on the state level.”

Councilor Joshua Bourdon said, “Any time we get taxes down and improve businesses, it’s a win-win.”

Bourdon asked Sioras how he was marketing the program, and Sioras said the ERZ opportunity will be added to the town Web site.

“It is a great program, and we need to get that information out,” Council Chair Brian Chirichiello said.

The Council voted unanimously to approve the recertification.