The primary objective of the 2% Diversity Tax Credit is to stimulate job growth by encouraging film productions to employ the services of women and minority persons. The structure of this program seeks to further ensure that equal employment opportunities are offered to “above-the-line” positions (generally, key creative positions) as well as “below-the-line” positions (all other production crew).
(a) An applicant that seeks to increase its award through the use of a diversity plan shall submit a completed plan (see Form A – Diversity Plan) to NJEDA before the NJEDA may approve an application pursuant to the applicable program rules. An applicant may consult with the NJEDA regarding the requirements of the diversity plan in advance of submitting the plan.
(b) The diversity plan shall identify how the applicant intends to prioritize actively recruiting and hiring African Americans, Hispanic, Asian Americans, Native Americans, and women in all areas of production of the film, specifically production crew and staff, entry level positions, management positions and talent related positions. Proposed actions by the applicant may include advertising and recruitment actions.
(c) An overall goal of not less than 15 percent shall be utilized in the hiring of minority persons and women. All diversity plans must identify goals for hiring both minority persons and women.
(d) The diversity plan will indicate whether and, if so, how the applicant intends to participate in training, education and recruitment programs that are organized in cooperation with New Jersey state colleges and universities, labor organizations, and the motion picture industry and are designed to promote and encourage the training and hiring of New Jersey residents who represent the diversity of the state’s population. Such cooperation is encouraged but not required.
(e) The diversity plan shall describe the efforts the applicant will make to ensure equal employment opportunities for minority persons and women in the recruitment, selection, appointment, promotion, training, and related employment areas.
(f) The diversity plan shall identify specific actions to ensure equal opportunities for the following key creative positions and shall include an explanation as to how these actions will contribute toward achieving the overall goal in relation to these positions:
- Highest paid lead performer
- Second highest paid lead performer
- Production Designer/Art Director
- Design Supervisor
- Director of photography
- Camera operator
- Music composer
- Picture editor
If as part of the final documentation required for final approval of the tax credit, the applicant submits evidence satisfactory to the NJEDA and the Director of the Division of Taxation of good faith-efforts to accomplish all the actions described in the diversity plan, the final tax credit amount will include the bonus. If the final approval of the applicant’s tax credit application does not include the bonus, the applicant may appeal the final approval as described in the program rules at N.J.A.C. 19:31-21.7(f).
In order to support the fact that an individual who worked on the production is a woman or minority person, consistent with the applicable rules, the applicant must request and retain a copy of the Diversity Plan Report, (see Form B – Diversity Tracking Sheet) from the individual.
The applicant shall undertake appropriate outreach and talent acquisition activities that are reasonably designed to effectively identify, recruit and incorporate women and minority persons into the applicable film production. Good faith efforts are assessed using various factors, including, but not limited to the following, which shall be provided by the applicant:
- The applicant’s overall number of production workers, by category, upon completion of filming.
- The names, addresses, and other information required on the Diversity Plan Report of minority and women production workers, by category, upon completion of filming.
- The final diversity numbers of the production.
- Documentation of efforts made to recruit and hire women and minority persons to meet the goals of the diversity plan. This can include, casting solicitations, e-mail confirmation or other correspondence to those people contacted but not hired. A list of names, dates and times of people and/or businesses that were contacted may be considered as well.
The NJEDA may contact the individuals and businesses listed by the applicant to verify the good faith efforts.
NJEDA or the Division of Taxation may audit the applicant’s submissions, in which case the NJEDA or the Division of Taxation may ask for documents supporting the application and submitted documentation regarding the diversity plan, including, but not limited to, any of the following documents:
- the books, records and supporting documents of the eligible production corporation
- agreements and contracts between actors, producers, directors, and other persons and the eligible production corporation
- any other documents that may be needed to support your claim