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Three Stories You Should Know From TNECD

As the month of April comes to a close, we are excited to share three stories of notable achievements facilitated this month by The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (TNECD). From newly-announced tax credits to grants for enhancing local infrastructure, these wins are vital for the state of Tennessee in continuing to be known as the number one location for high quality jobs and startup growth.

1. Tennessee Entertainment Commission Launches New Incentive Program

Tennessee’s entertainment industry now eligible for new F&E tax credit.

The Tennessee Entertainment Commission (TEC), in partnership with the Tennessee Department of Revenue and Department of Economic and Community Development, announced today a new franchise and excise (F&E) tax credit program aimed to advance Tennessee’s entertainment industry by promoting job creation and economic development.

Companies approved as a qualified production can apply for a tax credit generated through resident and non-resident Tennessee payroll expenses and apply for a point of purchase sales tax exemption certificate on non-payroll expenses. Qualified productions include scripted and unscripted television, feature films, video game development, animation, commercials and audio/visual postproduction.

The F&E tax credit is generated by Tennessee payroll expenditures for all above-the-line and below-the-line talent services being performed in the state on a qualified production. The standard credit generates up to 40 percent on resident and non-resident payroll expenses, with a 10 percent uplift on payroll expenses for Tennesseans living in economically distressed areas.

In addition to the tax credit, the program offers a point of purchase sales and use tax exemption on qualified goods and services providing an immediate and usable benefit to the taxpayer. This point of purchase sales tax exemption generates a savings of 9.25 percent to 9.75 percent on all taxable goods or services and tangible personal property necessary to the qualified production.

The program creates a sustainable model for the industry, encouraging musicians, professional filmmakers, television producers and video game developers to create and share their craft. The F&E tax credit program will also help market the state while supporting the talented professionals in the entertainment industry.

2. TNECD Announces Communities Selected to Participate in Tennessee Downtowns Program

10 communities selected in the eighth round of TNECD’s downtown revitalization program.

Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe today announced the 10 Tennessee communities selected to participate in the eighth round of the Tennessee Downtowns program. The communities selected are Alexandria, Copperhill, Cumberland Gap, Decherd, Loretto, Newbern, Oneida, Rossville, Tellico Plains and Waverly.

TNECD provides the Tennessee Downtowns program to communities that want to pursue the Main Street America approach to downtown revitalization. Since its inception in 2010, 66 communities have participated in the Tennessee Downtowns program, and the newly designated communities bring that total to 76.

The Tennessee Downtowns program helps local communities revitalize traditional commercial districts, enhance community livability, spur job creation and maintain the historic character of downtown districts. The two-year program coaches selected communities and their steering committees through the steps of launching effective renewal efforts. Tennessee Downtowns includes community training in the Main Street America program and a $15,000 grant for a downtown improvement project.

The ten newly selected communities all have downtown commercial districts established at least 50 years ago and have demonstrated their readiness to organize efforts for downtown revitalization according to Main Street America principles. The highly competitive selection process was based on historic commercial resources, economic and physical need, demonstrated local effort, overall presentation and probability of success.

Tennessee Downtown communities that complete the program are eligible for additional Downtown Improvement Grants as well as Main Street designation. There are currently 41 nationally accredited Main Street communities in Tennessee, 10 of which successfully completed the Tennessee Downtowns program prior to their national accreditation.

3. Governor Lee, Commissioner Rolfe Announce 62 Communities to Receive Community Development Block Grants

Grants will assist communities with local infrastructure, housing and safety improvements.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee and Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe recently approved $28.5 million in Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), which will assist communities with infrastructure improvements, housing rehabilitations and health and safety initiatives.  

Investing in local infrastructure is one of our top priorities, and these funds will play a vital role as communities work to update their assets and keep their communities safe,” said Lee. “These recipients are proactively preparing their communities for future economic opportunities and continued growth.” 

“Community Development Block Grants are an enormous asset to communities across Tennessee,” Rolfe said. “The 62 communities receiving CDBG funding will be better equipped for future economic opportunities, which in turn, will help our state continue to grow and succeed. I congratulate these recipients and look forward to seeing the successes in each community in the years to come.”  

The allocation of CDBG funds is based on priorities set through the public meeting process at the local community level. The CDBG program is funded through HUD and administered in Tennessee by the Department of Economic and Community Development. Funds are available for water and sewer improvements and new extensions, housing rehabilitation and health and safety projects.

View the list of selected communities here.


About the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (TNECD)

The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development’s mission is to develop strategies that help make Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs. To grow and strengthen Tennessee, the department seeks to attract new corporate investment to the state and works with Tennessee companies to facilitate expansion and economic growth. Learn more about. TNECD at tnecd.com.

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