WRC Loses Bid for ‘Major’ Tax Break

By Kevin Eck 

A Washington, D.C. Court of Appeals has ruled NBC-owned station WRC doesn’t qualify for tax breaks given to high tech companies.

The Washington Business Journal reports the Court of Appeals ruled that while WRC uses technology in its day-to-day business, it is not a high tech company. WRC will now have to pay back taxes as a result of the ruling.

As a QHTC, WRC would have been eligible for a bundle of tax reimbursements, credits and exemptions. WRC claimed, according to the court’s discussion, that it is QHTC because it has invested in, and uses technology to earn advertising dollars that account for more than half its revenue. The tax office didn’t buy it and assessed the company a $78,784.84 sales and use tax deficiency, according to the court ruling. WRC appealed to an administrative law judge, who upheld the District’s reading of the QHTC law. The case then moved to the appeals court.

The purpose of the New E-Conomy Transformation Act of 2000, which established the QHTC incentives, was to increase the presence of high-technology companies in the District, counteracting the strength of Northern Virginia’s tech sector, the judges wrote.