Code of the District of Columbia

§ 2–1204.11c. Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, the term:

(1) “Above-the-line crew” means a person employed by an eligible production company for a qualified production, such as a producer, director, writer, or actor, who is not otherwise identified as below-the-line crew, as defined in paragraph (2) of this section.

(1A) “Base infrastructure investment” means the cost, including renovation, rehabilitation, fabrication and installation, expended by a person in the development of a qualified film and digital media infrastructure project for tangible assets of a type that are, or under the United States Internal Revenue Code will become, eligible for depreciation, amortization, or accelerated capital cost recovery for federal income tax purposes that are physically located in the District for use in a business activity in the District and that are not mobile tangible assets. The term “base infrastructure investment” does not include qualified production expenditure or qualified personnel expenditure.

(2) “Below-the-line crew” means a person employed by an eligible production company for a qualified production after production begins and before production is completed, excluding above-the-line crew such as a producer, director, writer, actor, or other person in a similar position.

(3) “Eligible production company” means an entity in the business of producing qualified productions.

(4) “Postproduction expenditure” means a direct expenditure for editing, Foley recording, automatic dialogue replacement, sound editing, special or visual effects, including computer-generated imagery or other effects, scoring and music editing, beginning and end credits, negative cutting, soundtrack production, dubbing, subtitling, addition of sound or visual effects, and related expenses.

(5) “Qualified film and digital media infrastructure project” means a film, video, television, or digital media production and postproduction facility located in the District, movable and immovable property and equipment related to the facility, and any other facility that is a necessary component of the primary facility. The term “qualified film and digital media infrastructure project” does not include a movie theater or other commercial exhibition facility.

(6) “Qualified job training expenditure” means salary and other expenditures paid by an eligible production company to provide qualified personnel with on-the-job training to upgrade or enhance the skills of the qualified personnel as a member of the below-the-line crew for a qualified production.

(7) Repealed.

(8) “Qualified personnel expenditure” means an expenditure made in the District directly attributable to the preproduction, production, or postproduction of a qualified production and is a payment of wages, benefits, or fees to above-the-line or below-the-line crew members and includes a payment to a personal services corporation or professional employer organization for the services of qualified personnel as above-the-line or below-the-line crew members. The term “qualified personnel expenditure” does not include salary, wages, and other compensation for personal services of above-the-line crew members that when combined exceed $500,000 in salary, wages, or other compensation for personal services in connection with any qualified production activity.

(9) “Qualified production” means motion picture, television, or video content created in whole or in part in the District, intended for nationwide distribution or exhibition by any means, including by motion picture, documentary, television programming, commercials, or internet video production and includes a trailer, pilot, or any video teaser associated with a qualified production. The term “qualified production” includes a music, sporting, interactive gaming, or other entertainment special event if it is determined that the event would not otherwise be produced in the District of Columbia without a production rebate. The term “qualified production” does not include:

(A) A production that:

(i) Consists primarily of televised news or current events;

(ii) Consists primarily of a live sporting event that would likely be staged in the District of Columbia without a production rebate;

(iii) Consists primarily of political advertising;

(iv) Primarily markets a product or service other than a qualified production; or

(B) A radio program.

(10)(A) “Qualified production expenditure” means the preproduction, production, and postproduction expenditures in the District directly related to the qualified production, including:

(i) Set construction and operation;

(ii) Wardrobes, makeup, accessories, and related services;

(iii) Photography and sound synchronization, lighting, and related services and materials;

(iv) Editing and related services, including film processing, transfers of film to tape or digital format, sound mixing, computer graphic services, special effects services, and animation services;

(v) Rental of facilities in the District and equipment used in the District;

(vi) Establishment of office space in the District;

(vii) Leasing of vehicles;

(viii) Food and lodging;

(ix) Music, if performed, composed, or recorded by a District musician or published by a person or company domiciled in the District; and

(x) Any other production expense incurred in the District that is approved by the Mayor.

(B) For goods with a purchase price of $25,000 or more, the amount included in qualifying as a qualified production expenditure is the purchase price less the fair market value of the good at the time the production is completed.

(C) The term “qualified production expenditure” does not include:

(i) Qualified personnel expenditures;

(ii) Marketing and distribution expenditures; or

(iii) Non-production related overhead.


(Mar. 14, 2007, D.C. Law 16-290, § 2c; as added Mar. 3, 2010, D.C. Law 18-111, § 2071(b), 57 DCR 181; Sept. 20, 2012, D.C. Law 19-168, § 2122, 59 DCR 8025; Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-171, § 99(b), 59 DCR 6190; Mar. 9, 2016, D.C. Law 21-81, § 2(d), 63 DCR 768.)

Prior Codifications

2001 Ed., § 39-501.03.

Effect of Amendments

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-168 substituted “excluding above-the-line crew such as” for “including” in (2); added “who are not residents of the District” in (8); and in (10)(B), added “or intangible,” “use of facilities or equipment, use of soundstages or studios, location fees, and related services, excluding services provided by the District government, and materials,” and “including above-the line crew such as producers, directors, writers, and actors, and below-the-line crew who are residents of the District, and.”

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-171 validated a previously made technical correction in (10)(A).

The 2016 amendment by D.C. Law 21-81 added (1); redesignated former (1) as (1A); substituted “including renovation, rehabilitation, fabrication” for “including fabrication” in (1A); deleted “advertising, marketing, distribution” preceding “and related expenses” in (4); repealed (7); rewrote (8); added the second sentence in the introductory paragraph of (9); added “that would likely be staged in the District of Columbia without a production rebate” in (9)(A)(ii); and rewrote (10).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 2071(b) of Fiscal Year 2010 Budget Support Second Emergency Act of 2009 (D.C. Act 18-207, October 15, 2009, 56 DCR 8234).

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 2071(b) of Fiscal Year Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2009 (D.C. Act 18-260, January 4, 2010, 57 DCR 345).