Film industry backs cuts to production tax credits

Vancouver, BC, Canada / News Talk 980 CKNW | Vancouver’s News. Vancouver’s Talk

With files from Shelby Thom and Ria Renouf

BC’s film industry says trimming tax credits for foreign film and TV makers by 5% is a good compromise.

BC’s Finance Minister Mike De Jong announced today that the subsidy will be chopped to 28% come October.

He says the sector has been doing so well that the subsidy would have become unjustifiable for taxpayers.

President of North Shore Studios and chair of the Motion Picture Production Industry Association of B.C., Peter Leitch, says it’s a better option than a cap on total credits BC would pay out.

“If you’ve got a production and it’s later in the year and you’ve reached your cap then obviously you can’t come here so it creates this uncertainty. We said reduce the rate to a level that they’d still come up here but there would be no uncertainty that every production company would get that certain rate.”


Chair of Burnaby-based Brightlight Pictures Shawn Williamson also says the industry understands why the province is scaling back tax credits.

“We all understand that we have to be aware of the amount of money that film tax credits both bring in and send back to foreign producers. I think people are not surprised that there’s been a change based on the volume of work.”

But he says attraction mostly relies on the Canadian dollar.

“We remain competitive at under 80 cents as we crest over 80 cents we become slightly less competitive to some areas in the United States.”

The film and TV industry brings in about $2 billion annually in productions.

Hard numbers

The current tax credits were a money shot for Vancouver-filmed Ryan Reynolds flick Deadpool, but now the B.C. Government wants to reduce some film tax credits.

The basic production services tax credit rate will go from 33% to 28%, while the visual effects tax credit would drop to 16% from 17.5%.

The changes would apply to movies and T.V. shows that start shooting this October.

The Province says the tax credits have been costly: around $313 million in the last three years.

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