There is always some backlash from the general public when billion-dollar-grossing companies are given a break on taxes for choosing to come to Connecticut or set down roots right here in Windsor.
The issue of tax breaks for, what own officials call, "significant impact projects" has come under fire a number of times in the past couple of years -- most notably with Dollar Tree, and most recently with Amazon.
While some see the tax breaks as giving a financial gift to a company not in need, figures show that residents benefit from abatements granted to large companies in Windsor.
Just five companies have been granted abatements for developing in Windsor, and their contributions to town revenue help keep residents' property taxes from skyrocketing before and after the projects are completed.
To date, the five companies that have received abatements in Windsor have paid roughly $25.4 million in personal property and real estate taxes since fiscal year 2008, according to Town Manager Peter Souza.
If the companies chose not to build in Windsor, taxes in the current fiscal year would be 6 percent higher, increasing this year's payments for a Windsor home worth $140,000 by $240, Souza said.
Over the past five years, that same Windsor owner of a home assessed at $140,00 has saved $1,355 - or $193 on an annual basis - because of the five companies' tax payments during the abatement period.
While tax breaks have been granted to the companies, the amount the town received is far more than money the town collects from undeveloped land.
In the case of the plot Amazon has been approved to develop, the town currently collects $6,000 from plot owner Griffin Land. Windsor would collect close to $1.3 million in year one of a five year abatement of 70 percent if it were granted to the online-sales giant.
Amazon recently withdrew its bid for a tax break in town, but sought an average of 80 percent over five years. The town economic development commission recommended the town council approve an average of 70-percent.
Dollar Tree was awarded a tax abatement averaging 40-percent over a five year period -- an abatement amount Deputy Mayor Al Simon said, at the time, was significantly reduced in light of public outcry against the company's 1-million-square-foot distribution center.