Florida Senate - 2020 COMMITTEE AMENDMENT Bill No. SB 530 Ì3129545Î312954 LEGISLATIVE ACTION Senate . House . . . . . ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— The Committee on Commerce and Tourism (Gruters) recommended the following: 1 Senate Amendment (with title amendment) 2 3 Delete everything after the enacting clause 4 and insert: 5 Section 1. Film, Television, and Digital Media Targeted 6 Rebate Program.— 7 (1) CREATION AND PURPOSES OF PROGRAM.—The Film, Television, 8 and Digital Media Targeted Rebate Program is created within the 9 Department of Economic Opportunity under the supervision of the 10 Commissioner of Film and Entertainment. 11 (a) The purpose of the program is to boost this state’s 12 economic prosperity by: 13 1. Creating high-paying jobs; 14 2. Broadening the film, television, and digital media 15 industry’s impact on the state by giving a modest bonus for 16 projects that take place in underutilized areas; 17 3. Enhancing tourism by choosing projects that encourage 18 tourists to visit this state; and 19 4. Encouraging more family-friendly productions to be 20 produced in this state. 21 (b) This purpose shall be accomplished by providing a 22 limited rebate to projects that provide the highest return on 23 investment and economic benefit to the state, as determined 24 after a project has made its expenditures in the state. 25 (2) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this act, unless the context 26 otherwise requires, the term: 27 (a) “Certified project” means a qualified project that has 28 been scored by the council, has been determined by the 29 commissioner to meet or exceed the desired economic impact and 30 other criteria of the program, and has rebate funds allocated to 31 it based on the project’s estimated qualified expenditures. 32 (b) “Commissioner” means the Commissioner of Film and 33 Entertainment as described in s. 288.1251(1)(b), Florida 34 Statutes. 35 (c) “Council” means the Florida Film and Entertainment 36 Advisory Council. 37 (d) “Department” means the Department of Economic 38 Opportunity. 39 (e) “Digital media project” means a commercial video game, 40 including an educational video game, which includes at least 30 41 minutes of game play time. The term does not include a project 42 that may be considered obscene, as defined in s. 847.001, 43 Florida Statutes. 44 (f) “Family friendly” means having cross-generational 45 appeal; being appropriate in theme, content, and language for a 46 broad family audience; embodying a responsible resolution of 47 issues; not containing any act of drunkenness, illicit drug use, 48 sex, nudity, gratuitous violence, or vulgar or profane language; 49 and not portraying smoking any substance in a positive light. 50 (g) “Film project” means a theatrical, direct-to-video, 51 television, cable, Internet, streaming service, or animated 52 narrative motion picture at least 75 minutes in length. The term 53 does not include a project deemed by the office to have content 54 that is obscene, as defined in s. 847.001, Florida Statutes. 55 (h) “Florida resident” means a person who has a valid 56 Florida driver license or Florida identification card issued 57 under s. 322.051, Florida Statutes, and has signed an affidavit 58 confirming residency. 59 (i) “Office” means the Office of Film and Entertainment 60 within the department. 61 (j) “Principal photography” means, for a film project or 62 television project, the filming of major or significant 63 components of the project which involve lead actors, or, for a 64 digital media project, the period of time during which the work 65 of the majority of the crew is dedicated solely to the project. 66 (k) “Production start date” means: 67 1. For film and television projects, the start date of 68 principal photography, as listed in the project’s application. 69 2. For digital media projects, the start date of final 70 storyboards or a later date as specified in the project’s 71 application. 72 (l)1. “Qualified expenditures” means expenditures made in 73 this state and paid to residents of this state or to businesses 74 registered in this state and made solely for preproduction, 75 production, or postproduction of the qualified project, 76 including the following: 77 a. Rented or leased goods or services provided by a vendor 78 or supplier in this state which is registered with the 79 Department of State or the Department of Revenue; which has a 80 physical address in this state other than a post office box; and 81 which employs one or more Florida residents on a full-time 82 basis. The term does not include rebilled goods or services 83 provided by an in-state company from out-of-state vendors or 84 suppliers. When services provided by the vendor or supplier 85 include personal services or labor, only personal services or 86 labor provided by Florida residents qualifies. 87 b. Payments to Florida residents in the form of salary or 88 wages up to a maximum of $200,000 per resident, including 89 amounts paid per diem to a worker who is a Florida resident and 90 amounts paid through payroll service companies, and benefits 91 such as pension, health, and welfare payments for technical and 92 production crews, directors, producers, and performers. For 93 purposes of this sub-subparagraph, payments do not include wages 94 for executives, legal staff, or other corporate staff who are 95 not employed to work solely on the project. 96 c. Rented or leased cars, trucks, and trailers if the 97 vehicles or trailers are registered with the Florida Department 98 of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. 99 d. Purchases of catered meals and on-set craft service 100 supplies. 101 e. Rented hotel rooms or other accommodations for cast or 102 crew. 103 2. The term does not include expenditures not expressly 104 identified in subparagraph 1., expenditures made before 105 qualification for the program, expenditures made via Internet 106 transactions, expenditures for airfare, or any costs associated 107 with development, marketing, or distribution. 108 3. For the purposes of a digital media project, the term 109 includes only those qualified expenditures made within 9 months 110 after the project’s first qualified expenditure. 111 (m) “Qualified project” means a film project, television 112 project, or digital media project that meets the application 113 requirements and for which a complete application for the 114 program has been submitted to the commissioner and accepted for 115 consideration by the office. The term does not include a weather 116 or market program; a sporting event or a sporting event 117 broadcast; a gala; an awards show; a production that solicits 118 funds; a home shopping program; a political program; a gambling 119 related project or production; a concert production; a news or 120 current events show; a sports or sports recap show; a 121 pornographic production; or any production deemed obscene under 122 chapter 847, Florida Statutes. 123 (n) “Television project” means a television pilot program 124 or a television series that: 125 1. Is a scripted drama, comedy, animation, or reality show; 126 2. Has a runtime of at least 30 minutes but not more than 127 60 minutes; and 128 3. If the television project is a television series, has a 129 minimum of 7 episodes; or, if the television project is a 130 reality program or series, at least 10 episodes. 131 132 The term does not include a project deemed by the office to have 133 content that is obscene, as defined in s. 847.001, Florida 134 Statutes. 135 (o) “Underutilized area” means any county in this state 136 other than Broward County, Miami-Dade County, Orange County, or 137 Seminole County. 138 (3) REBATE ELIGIBILITY.— 139 (a) To be eligible for a rebate, an applicant must be 140 registered to do business in this state and must be producing a 141 project that: 142 1. Has projected qualified expenditures of: 143 a. For a film project, at least $1.5 million; 144 b. For a television project, at least $500,000 per episode; 145 or 146 c. For a digital media project, at least $1.5 million; 147 2. Is projected to employ a crew, including cast and stand 148 ins, but not including extras, also known as background 149 performers, of which at least 60 percent will be residents of 150 this state and at least one member will be a military veteran; 151 3. Is projected to spend at least 70 percent of its total 152 production days in this state; and 153 4. Will not receive a sales tax certificate of exemption 154 pursuant to s. 288.1258, Florida Statutes, for the project. 155 (b) A project may receive a rebate in the amount of up to 156 20 percent of its verified qualified expenditures. A bonus may 157 be earned in the amount of an additional 3 percentage points if 158 75 percent of the project’s production in this state will take 159 place in an underutilized area or if its content is deemed 160 family friendly. A certified project may not receive more than 161 one bonus, and the total that may be awarded under any rebate 162 may not exceed 23 percent of its verified qualified expenditures 163 or $2 million, whichever is less. 164 (c) A certified project must make a good faith effort to 165 use existing providers of infrastructure or equipment in this 166 state, when available, including providers of camera gear, grip 167 and lighting equipment, vehicles, and postproduction services, 168 and to employ cast and crew who are residents of this state. 169 (4) APPLICATION WINDOWS.—Applications must be accepted for 170 the program during two application windows each fiscal year. The 171 commissioner shall set a start date for both application 172 windows. However, the first application window may begin before 173 the start of the fiscal year and must end no later than 5 174 business days after July 1, and the second must end no later 175 than 5 business days after December 1. 176 (a) The department may not earmark or set aside more than 177 60 percent of any appropriated or rolled-over rebate funds for 178 any given fiscal year for applications submitted during the 179 first application window. Rebate funds not earmarked and set 180 aside for applicants applying during one application window roll 181 over for use in the next application window. 182 (b) If all rebate funds are earmarked and set aside for 183 certified projects, additional applications may not be accepted 184 until more funds become available for the program. 185 (5) APPLICATION PROCESS.— 186 (a) A company that plans to produce a film, television, or 187 digital project in this state may submit an application to the 188 commissioner during one of the two application windows. Each 189 fiscal year, a project must have a production start date that is 190 within 6 months after July 1 if applying in the first window or 191 within 6 months after January 1 if applying in the second 192 window. 193 (b) An applicant or its parent company may submit an 194 application for no more than five projects in any single fiscal 195 year. However, except in the case of a TV pilot and the 196 television series the pilot is based on being certified within 197 the same fiscal year, only one project per applicant may be 198 certified within a fiscal year. 199 (c) The application must include: 200 1. Proof of funding; 201 2. Project-related employment information, including 202 employment numbers for residents of this state; 203 3. A full line-item budget and a detailed qualified 204 expenditures budget; 205 4. A detailed distribution plan to assist with determining 206 the potential economic impact of the project in this state; 207 5. The applicant’s expected total qualified expenditures 208 for wages paid to residents of this state; 209 6. The applicant’s expected total qualified expenditures 210 and nonqualified expenditures in this state; 211 7. For a film project, the latest script, a production 212 schedule, a Day Out of Days report, and a list of the expected 213 shooting locations; 214 8. For a digital media project, a detailed game design 215 document, including a production schedule; 216 9. For a television project that is a pilot, a final 217 script, a production schedule, a Day Out of Days report, and a 218 list of the expected shooting locations; 219 10. For a television project that is a series, the latest 220 scripts for at least two episodes and a production schedule, a 221 Day Out of Days report, and a list of the expected shooting 222 locations for the first episode; 223 11. An affirmation signed by the applicant that the 224 information on the application is correct; 225 12. The applicant’s Florida tax identification number. 226 (d) Within a reasonable period of time after the last 227 business day of each application window, the commissioner shall: 228 1. Review all applications submitted during the application 229 window and determine the eligibility of each applicant; 230 2. Determine each applicant’s expected qualified 231 expenditures; 232 3. Determine the maximum rebate amount that each eligible 233 applicant may be awarded; 234 4. Determine whether an eligible applicant’s project is 235 deemed family friendly; 236 5. Determine the percentage of the applicant’s production, 237 if any, which is proposed to occur in an underutilized area; 238 6. Determine whether each eligible applicant is a 239 corporation registered in this state; 240 7. Contact each applicant with any questions, as necessary; 241 8. Gather any additional information needed to address the 242 criteria specified under subsection (6); 243 9. Assemble a package containing the details of each 244 eligible applicant’s project and deliver it to each council 245 member; and 246 10. Give notice to the council of the date and time when 247 the council must convene to assess each qualified project. The 248 council may meet in person or by conference call. 249 (e) The council shall determine a score for each qualified 250 project using the criteria specified under subsection (6), with 251 the highest scores going to projects determined to provide the 252 best economic impact and return on investment to this state. 253 (6) CRITERIA FOR DETERMINING PROJECT SCORES.— 254 (a) The priority order and scoring system of the criteria 255 specified in paragraph (b) must be determined by the 256 commissioner, with assistance from the council and other 257 persons, as determined by the commissioner, before the first 258 application window. 259 (b) The council shall use, at a minimum, the following 260 criteria in determining a qualified project’s score: 261 1. The amount of the project’s overall qualified 262 expenditures. 263 2. The amount of the project’s Florida-resident wages. 264 3. The number of full-time-equivalent jobs created by the 265 project. 266 4. Whether the project provides pension, health, and 267 welfare benefits to its workforce in this state. 268 5. The estimated direct and indirect tourism benefit of the 269 project, based on the submitted distribution plan. 270 6. The duration of Florida-resident employment for the 271 project. 272 7. What percentage of the project, if any, is being made in 273 an underutilized area. 274 8. Whether the project is family friendly. 275 9. Whether the project has a Florida-resident writer, 276 producer, or star. 277 10. Whether a Florida film, television, or digital media 278 school will assist with the production of the project. 279 11. Whether the project leadership team has a successful 280 track record. 281 12. The number of Florida-resident veterans the project 282 will hire. 283 13. The number of Florida film school graduates the project 284 will hire as cast or crew. 285 (7) NOTIFICATION OF DECISION.— 286 (a) After the council determines a project’s score, the 287 commissioner shall, in a timely manner: 288 1. Make a final determination on certifying or rejecting 289 each qualified project, giving consideration to the council’s 290 scoring. 291 2. Provide a list of certified projects to the department 292 which includes the associated maximum rebate amounts that the 293 respective applicants may receive. 294 3. Notify each certified project of the specified 295 percentage of qualified expenditures for which it is eligible 296 and the maximum rebate amount that it may receive. 297 4. Provide a notice of rejection to each rejected 298 applicant; however, the failure to notify an applicant of its 299 rejection does not deem the applicant’s project a certified 300 project. 301 (b) Based on the final determination of the commissioner, 302 the department shall earmark and set aside the amount necessary 303 to fund the total maximum that may be awarded for the certified 304 projects, if funds are available. 305 (8)(a) VERIFICATION PROCESS.—The commissioner shall develop 306 a process to verify the actual qualified expenditures and rebate 307 bonus eligibility of a certified project after the project’s 308 work in this state is complete. The process must require all of 309 the following: 310 1. Submission to the commissioner of at least all of the 311 following information, electronically or in hard copy, or both, 312 by each certified project: 313 a. Data substantiating each qualified expenditure, which 314 has been audited by an independent certified public accountant 315 licensed in this state, as required under subparagraph 4.; 316 b. Copies of documents verifying residency of persons 317 represented as being residents of this state; 318 c. The final script; 319 d. The most recent production board and shooting schedule; 320 e. The most recent credit list showing where the credits 321 required under subsection (9) will appear; 322 f. A cast list and a final crew list with contact 323 information; 324 g. For any veterans employed by the project, a copy of at 325 least one of the veterans’ DD Form 214, as issued by the United 326 States Department of Defense, or another acceptable form of 327 identification as specified by the Department of Veterans’ 328 Affairs; and 329 h. Any other information determined necessary by the 330 commissioner. 331 2. Signing, and submission to the commissioner, by the lead 332 producer or studio executive in charge of the certified project, 333 of an affidavit or written declaration signed under the penalty 334 of perjury as specified in s. 92.525, Florida Statutes, stating 335 that all salaries, wages, and other compensation submitted as 336 qualified expenditures are in compliance with this section. 337 3. The information and affidavit required by subparagraphs 338 1. and 2. must be received by the commissioner within 120 days 339 after the certified project has made its last qualified 340 expenditure, but no later than 1 year after its production start 341 date. Pursuant to the rules adopted by the department, the 342 commissioner may, upon a showing of good cause, grant a one-time 343 extension of this deadline. 344 4. The conducting of a compliance audit, at the certified 345 project’s expense, by an independent certified public accountant 346 who is a resident of this state to substantiate the qualified 347 expenditures, and submission of a report of the audit findings, 348 including substantiating data, to the commissioner within a 349 reasonable period of time after the initial receipt of records 350 from the certified project. 351 (b) The commissioner shall review the report and data 352 required under paragraph (a) within a reasonable period of time 353 after receipt of the report and data and shall report to the 354 department the final verified amount of actual qualified 355 expenditures the certified project made and the amount of the 356 rebate, including any bonus, due to the project. 357 (c) Upon approval by the department of the final rebate 358 amount, which may not exceed the maximum specified in the notice 359 provided under subparagraph (7)(a)3., the rebate must be issued 360 within a reasonable period of time. 361 (9) MARKETING AND TOURISM REQUIREMENT.— 362 (a) The commissioner shall ensure, as a condition of 363 receiving a rebate under this section, that a certified project 364 include marketing promoting this state as a tourist destination 365 or film and entertainment production destination. At a minimum, 366 the marketing must include placement in the end credits of a 367 “Filmed in Florida” or “Produced in Florida” logo with size and 368 placement commensurate to other logos included in the end 369 credits or, if no logos are used, the statement “Filmed in 370 Florida” or “Produced in Florida” or a similar statement 371 approved by the commissioner and the logo of the local film 372 office, if applicable. A digital media project must also supply 373 a 5-second or longer animated logo with “Produced in Florida” or 374 other text, including the logo of the local digital media 375 office, if applicable, as preapproved by the commissioner, in a 376 manner easily seen by a consumer of the digital media project. 377 The commissioner shall provide the logos for the purposes 378 specified in this paragraph, not including the logo for a local 379 office, which must be provided by the applicable office. 380 (b) A certified project must allow the commissioner, or an 381 affiliate, and a minimum of two guests to visit the production 382 site upon the request of the commissioner. Upon such request, 383 the certified project must give the commissioner reasonable 384 notice of a visit date and time that is acceptable to the 385 production. The commissioner or an affiliate is not required to 386 make a visit to the set. 387 (c) A certified project must provide at least five 388 preapproved photos of the production to the commissioner and 389 grant the commissioner free use of the photos in promoting this 390 state as a film, television, or digital media production 391 location or tourist destination. 392 (10) DISQUALIFICATION.—The department shall disqualify a 393 certified project and may not issue a rebate to the project if 394 the project: 395 (a) Does not begin principal photography in this state 396 within the period beginning 30 days before and ending 90 days 397 after the project’s listed production start date. Pursuant to 398 department rule, the commissioner may, upon a showing of good 399 cause, grant a one-time extension of this deadline; 400 (b) Does not abide by the policies, procedures, deadlines, 401 or requirements of the application verification process; 402 (c) Does not notify the commissioner of any change in the 403 production start date before commencing production; 404 (d) Submits fraudulent information; or 405 (e) Uses the state sales tax exemption established under s. 406 288.1258, Florida Statutes. 407 (11) FRAUD.—An applicant that submits fraudulent 408 information under this section is liable for reimbursement of 409 the reasonable costs and fees associated with the review, 410 processing, investigation, and prosecution of the fraudulent 411 submission. An applicant that obtains a rebate under this 412 section through a claim that is fraudulent shall reimburse the 413 program for the rebate awarded and reasonable costs and fees 414 associated with the review, processing, investigation, and 415 prosecution of the fraudulent claim and shall pay a civil 416 penalty in an amount equal to double the rebate amount and any 417 criminal penalty to which the applicant may be subject. 418 (12) RULES; POLICIES; PROCEDURES.—The department may adopt 419 rules and shall develop policies and procedures to administer 420 this section, including, but not limited to, rules specifying 421 requirements for the application and approval process and the 422 determination of qualified expenditures. 423 (13) ANNUAL REPORT.—Each November 1, the commissioner shall 424 provide an annual report on the program for the previous fiscal 425 year to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the 426 Speaker of the House of Representatives. The report must 427 identify the return on investment associated with, and economic 428 benefits to this state attributable to, the program. 429 (14) FUNDS NOT SUBJECT TO REVERSION.—Notwithstanding s. 430 216.301, Florida Statutes, funds appropriated for this purpose 431 shall not be subject to reversion. 432 (15) EXPIRATION.—The Film, Television, and Digital Media 433 Targeted Rebate Program expires June 30, 2023, at which point 434 all remaining appropriated funds not earmarked and set aside for 435 certified projects must revert to the General Revenue Fund. All 436 remaining appropriated funds must revert to the General Revenue 437 Fund no later than October 31, 2024. 438 Section 2. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law. 439 440 ================= T I T L E A M E N D M E N T ================ 441 And the title is amended as follows: 442 Delete everything before the enacting clause 443 and insert: 444 A bill to be entitled 445 An act relating to the entertainment industry; 446 creating the Film, Television, and Digital Media 447 Targeted Rebate Program within the Department of 448 Economic Opportunity under the supervision of the 449 Commissioner of Film and Entertainment; providing 450 purposes for the program; defining terms; requiring 451 that film, television, and digital media projects 452 being produced in this state meet specified criteria 453 for rebate eligibility; authorizing applicants to 454 receive rebates up to a specified amount, including 455 bonuses; requiring an applicant that receives funding 456 to make a good faith effort to use existing providers 457 of infrastructure or equipment in this state and to 458 employ residents of this state; requiring the 459 commissioner to set application windows for the 460 rebate; providing requirements for the department 461 relating to earmarking and setting aside rebate funds; 462 providing procedures and requirements for applicants 463 applying for the rebate; requiring the commissioner to 464 take specified action within a reasonable period of 465 time; requiring the Florida Film and Entertainment 466 Advisory Council to determine a score for each 467 qualified project using specified criteria; requiring 468 the commissioner to determine the priority order and 469 scoring system of the specified criteria with 470 assistance from the council and certain other persons; 471 requiring the council to use certain criteria; 472 requiring the commissioner to take certain actions 473 relating to the certification or rejection of 474 qualified projects in a timely manner; requiring the 475 department to earmark and set aside funding necessary 476 to fund the total maximum that may be awarded to the 477 certified projects, if funds are available; requiring 478 the commissioner to develop a process to verify the 479 actual qualified expenditures and rebate bonus 480 eligibility of a certified project after the project’s 481 work in this state is complete; providing requirements 482 for the verification process; requiring that the 483 rebate be issued within a reasonable period of time 484 upon approval of the final rebate amount by the 485 department; requiring that certain marketing be 486 included with a project; requiring certified projects 487 to allow certain persons to visit the production site 488 upon request of the commissioner and after providing 489 the commissioner with reasonable notice; specifying 490 that the commissioner or his or her affiliate is not 491 required to visit the production site; requiring the 492 department to disqualify a project under certain 493 circumstances; providing for liability and imposing 494 civil penalties for an applicant that submits 495 fraudulent information; providing for rulemaking; 496 requiring the commissioner to provide an annual report 497 to the Governor and the Legislature on a specified 498 date; providing that certain appropriated funds are 499 not subject to reversion; providing for the expiration 500 of the program; providing an effective date.