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“As these programs are not a priority for District lawmakers to fund through the budget process, we see no reason why the city should shift the burden on District businesses, especially those businesses that create jobs, housing and retail,” Mr. Jarvis said.

Yet a pair of producers, George Davis and Vincent de Paul Zannino, testified the District has the workforce needed to produce films and that the incentives will take the District’s “brand” beyond its go-to reputation as a seat of government.

Although a witness from Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s administration offered testimony that paralleled the real estate sector’s views, Mr. Orange returned to the prospect of future gain.

“If we don’t continue to plant seeds,” he said, “we’re not going to have growth.”