Gray proposes movie theater concession tax

Popcorn, soda, Whoppers and an Icee could cost 5 percent more under legislation that Mayor Vincent C. Gray is proposing to generate revenue to build a movie theater east of the Anacostia River and to lure filmmakers to the District.

Gray went Hollywood this summer, traveling to Los Angeles to talk to movie executives about filming in the District.

Those meetings led to the proposed tax, according to a news release issued by the mayor’s office late Wednesday.

The release did not specify how much money a 5 percent sales tax on movie concessions would generate, but the proposal calls for 75 percent of funds to be used to help build a theater on the city’s east side while the other 25 percent would be used for incentives for local productions.

The administration has its eye on Adam Sandler as one of the movie starts it hopes to attract, according to the release.

“This incentive will attract major film and television productions that may have gone elsewhere and, ultimately, pay for itself with the increased revenue it will generate. It is a win-win,” Gray said in the release.

The proposed legislation was first reported by the Washington Business Journal Wednesday.

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