MAYOR AND EXECUTIVE AGENCIES - FILM DC ECONOMIC INCENTIVE GRANT PROGRAM - DETERMINATION OF DC FILM, TELEVISION AND ENTERTAINMENT REBATE FUND PROGRAM ELIGIBILITY


Published: 2020-04-24

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3101 DETERMINATION OF DC FILM, TELEVISION, AND ENTERTAINMENT REBATE FUND PROGRAM ELIGIBILITY

3101.1 Subject to D.C. Official Code § 2-1204.11, the Director of the Agency determines whether individual movie, television, broadcasting, and other entertainment productions, and the expenditures associated with those projects, qualify for incentives under the Act. Subject to D.C. Official Code § 2-1204.11 and the availability of funds, the recipient of the incentive may receive an amount up to the following:

a) The sum of thirty-five percent (35%) of the company’s qualified production expenditures that are subject to taxation in the District. This category includes production- related expenditures or services contracted through registered District of Columbia business entities, vendors or contractors, unless an out-of-state business entity, vendor or contractor collects and remits applicable District of Columbia sales/use taxes;

b) The sum of twenty-one percent (21%) of the company’s qualified production expenditures that are not subject to taxation in the District, examples include, but are not limited to expenditures for: location site fees, film permits, services of D.C. government officials (e.g., off duty police officers), unprepared food and beverage, and shipping costs if not included in the total costs of an item delivered to the District;

c) The sum of thirty percent (30%) of the company’s qualified personnel expenditures that are subject to taxation in the District;

d) The sum of ten percent (10%) of the company’s qualified personnel expenditures that are not subject to taxation in the District; and

(e) The sum of fifty percent (50%) of the company’s qualified job training expenditures.

3101.2 Subject to D.C. Official Code § 2-1204.11(c), the Director of the Agency determines whether individual film and digital media infrastructure projects qualify for an incentive under the Act. Subject to the availability of funds, the recipient of the incentive may receive:

a) A payment of up to twenty-five percent (25%) of the taxpayer's base infrastructure investment; provided, that if all or a portion of the base infrastructure investment is in a facility that may be used for purposes unrelated to production or postproduction activities, then the base infrastructure investment shall be eligible for up to 25% payment only if the Director of the Agency determines that the facility will support and be necessary to secure production or postproduction activity.

3101.3 In evaluating whether a production or infrastructure project is eligible for rebate funding, the Director of the Agency will take into consideration the mandatory and discretionary criteria set forth in this section. The Agency shall require all applicants meet the mandatory criteria. The Director of the Agency will consider discretionary criteria based on the Agency's assessment of the current needs of the District of Columbia. The discretionary criteria are not intended to be used in a mathematical equation; consequently, mere compliance with a majority of these discretionary criteria does not guarantee receiving a Rebate Fund award. The Agency may also consider other factors in determining whether a particular project is eligible for rebate funding, provided that the additional factors are reasonably related to the goals of the Act.

3101.4 MANDATORY CRITERIA

To be eligible and qualified to receive a Rebate Fund award under D.C. Official Code § 2-1204.11(b) or infrastructure rebate funding under D.C. Official Code § 2-1204.11(c), the applicant must:

a) Spend at least $250,000 in total qualified expenditures (i.e., the sum of qualified production expenditures plus qualified personnel expenditures) on a qualified production, or invest and expend at least $250,000 on a qualified film and digital media infrastructure project;

(b) File an application with the Agency;

(c) Enter into a rebate agreement with the Agency;

(d) Comply with the terms of the agreement;

(e) Not be delinquent in a tax or other obligation owed to the District or be owned or under common control of an entity that is delinquent in a tax or other obligation owed to the District; and

(f) For purposes of the production rebate, agree to contain a five (5)-second long “Filmed in the District of Columbia” credit and logo provided by the Agency in the final production and a link to the District of Columbia on the project’s web page, or an alternative recognition agreed upon by the Agency that offers equal or greater promotional value to the District.

3101.5 DISCRETIONARY CRITERIA

a) To determine whether to enter into a rebate agreement with the applicant under D.C. Official Code §§ 2-1204.11(b)-(c), the Agency may consider:

1) Written documentation, verification and proof that the motion picture, television, digital media production or infrastructure project has the necessary financing in place to begin and complete project;

(2) The record of the applicant in completing commitments to engage in a production or film and digital media infrastructure project;

(3) The extent to which the production or film and digital media infrastructure project will attract film, television, and entertainment production to the District;

(4) The extent to which the production or film and digital media infrastructure project will create contracting and procurement opportunities for certified business enterprises (CBE) and business entities registered to do business in the District, including written assurances of the number of CBEs and District businesses the applicant agrees to use, and the establishment of production support vendor agreements with business entities registered to do business in the District;

(5) The extent to which the production or film and digital media infrastructure project will create jobs, job training opportunities, and apprenticeships for District residents;

(6) The extent to which the production or film and digital media infrastructure project will produce media training or employment opportunities for District youth;

(7) The extent to which the production or film and digital media infrastructure project will promote economic development and neighborhood revitalization in the District;

(8) The potential that, in the absence of a payment under D.C. Official Code § 2-1204.11(b), the production or film and digital media infrastructure project will be produced or constructed in a location other than the District;

(9) In the case of a film and digital media infrastructure project, the extent to which an incentive payment will attract private investment for the production of other productions or base infrastructure investments in the District;

(10) The amount and percentage of direct District expenditures;

11) The extent to which the production will promote the District as a tourist destination;

12) In the case of a production, how many days the production will film in the District;

13) In the case of a production, the percentage of the production to be filmed in the District;

14) In the case of a production, the extent to which the production has a bona fide distribution plan, including the date the completed content will be released for distribution, or has the secured financing in place to effectively self-distribute the content;

15) The extent to which the production schedule follows a reasonable timeline leading to completion of the project;

16) Whether the production will establish temporary hotel, production offices, or other occupancy arrangements in the District for its principals and out-of-state crew;

17) The credentials and references of the production company and its principals and producers;

18) Whether the applicant or its principals have or plan to establish a long-term, sustainable media production footprint in the District;

19) Whether the applicant will locate its permanent or temporary production offices in the District;

20) The existence of an acceptable completion bond and insurance policy in place with industry recognized providers;

21) The extent to which the applicant has complied with the Agency application and information disclosure requirements;

22) Whether the applicant has applied for, received, or been denied any incentive support from another District agency for the same project; and

23) Any other factor considered appropriate by the Agency in order to further the purposes of the Act.

Priority will be given to eligible production companies and infrastructure projects that hold the most promise for benefiting the District by hiring District residents, using local suppliers, being bonded and insured, and having a bona fide distribution plan in place.

3101.6 PROGRAMMATIC DISQUALIFICATION

Any production company or film and digital media infrastructure project applicant may be disqualified from the Rebate Fund Program during the application process or after the incentive has received Rebate Fund pre-qualification, based on programmatic considerations, at the discretion of the Agency and consistent with the purposes of the Act, including, but not limited to:

(a) Failure to begin qualifying project activity within same fiscal year as the date on the Pre-Certification Qualifying Project Letter, unless a waiver is granted by the Agency;

(b) Failure to file any required reports or program related deliverables by any applicable delivery deadline date(s);

(c) Failure to pay minimum wages or scale rate payments required by law or by any applicable collective bargaining agreements;

(d) Failure to submit, upon the conclusion of qualified production activity or completion of construction in the District, a certified accounting and cost report of project expenditures, prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, that is prepared by an independent certified public accountant selected and paid for by the Rebate Fund Awardee prior to the reimbursement of qualified production expenditures. The Rebate Fund Awardee may engage its regular independent certified public accountant, if applicable, to perform this activity;

e) Violation of any agreement made with the District with regard to residency, District resident employment, or job development programs;

f) Failure to adhere to any District or federal laws or regulations governing the production or infrastructure project or applicant;

g) Loss of financing required to complete the project as originally represented to the Agency during the application process; or

h) Failure to accurately respond to any questions in or disclose any information required by the application.

SOURCE: Final Rulemaking published at 54 DCR 6061 (June 22, 2007); as amended by Final Rulemaking published at 67 DCR 4491 (April 24, 2020).