The Finance, Revenue, and Bonding Committee voiced its approval Wednesday for a tax incentive package that gives up to $90 million to Starwood Hotels and Resorts up for relocating its headquarters from White Plains, New York to Stamford, Connecticut.
The deal which took more than three years to structure will bring 813 new jobs to the state and is expected to generate far more revenue than the tax credit the state is offering, state officials said.
The legislature has 30 days to act on the proposal or it automatically goes into effect.
Rep. Cameron Staples, D-New Haven, said there’s no requirement that they act on it and he hasn’t heard there’s anything sentiment from lawmakers that would jeopardize it.
Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Joan McDonald said the credit extends over a 10 year period and it’s possible Starwood may not use the entire credit.
The state is offering a $9.5 million loan, as much as $75 million in tax credits over a 10-year period, and $5 million in sales tax exemptions on building materials.
“We’re confident this is a great deal for the state of Connecticut,” McDonald said.
Before the voice vote Wednesday some lawmakers wondered how many of Starwood’s employees would move from New York to Connecticut. The two locations are 15 miles apart.
McDonald said she suspects many will remain where they are. She said right now about 500 live in New York and the remaining 25 percent live in Connecticut. She said once they begin working in Connecticut, no matter where they live, they will be required to pay Connecticut income taxes.
According to Starwood executives, the median compensation for its employees is $114,000.
State Sen. Andrew McDonald, D-Stamford, said the project is “right on jobs and right on smart growth.” He said it will benefit local construction companies and support small businesses in the area.