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'Cut!' BC film tax credit to be reduced

Last Updated May 2, 2016 at 5:53 pm PDT

(iStock Photo)
Summary

Basic production services tax credit being lowered five points from current rate to 28 per cent

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The BC government is taking advantage of the boom in film and TV production to reduce provincial taxpayers’ subsidies for the industry.

Starting in October, the basic production services tax credit will be 28 per cent, five points lower than the current rate.

TV series with shooting underway before October 1st will be grandfathered under the higher subsidy for one season. The rate for digital productions, animation and visual effects work will be reduced 1.5 points to 16 per cent.

The new rates follow consultation between the government and industry since February.

Film and TV production in North America is booming, with the low dollar providing a further incentive for the US industry to locate in this country.

The government says spending that qualifies for the production services tax credit was up by more than half to $2 billion between 2012-13 and 2014-15.

The weaker loonie has helped make BC a popular place to film right now. Finance Minister Mike de Jong says in a statement they also have to think about taxpayers too.

“We are proud of the success we’ve seen in this industry, but we also need to safeguard the interests of B.C. taxpayers, who ultimately pay for subsidies, and ensure there is equity with other industries that drive BC’s economy.”

The province has the option to adjust the rate in the future if the circumstances change.

While no film production company will be excited to pay more, Chair of the Motion Picture Production Industry Association Peter Leitch says they’re glad to have been consulted.

“We’re certainly interested in engaging in those conversations versus having the government do something arbitrarily which has happened in other jurisdictions. I think it was really a bit of a model, just to make sure industry is consulted when there are any changes.”

Productions which start filming after October 1st will be given the new rate.