NEWS

B.C. film producers seek better tax credit

01/15/2013 10:20 EST | Updated 03/17/2013 05:12 EDT
People who work in B.C.'s film industry say their jobs are heading east and have started a campaign to pressure the province to increase its tax credit to keep local film companies competitive.

In B.C., film productions can apply for a 33-per-cent tax credit on labour costs. But in Ontario and Quebec, productions are eligible for a 25-per-cent credit that covers all production costs.

Peter Leitch, chair of the Motion Picture Production Industry Association of B.C., says he doesn't believe the tax credits offered by Ontario and Quebec are sustainable.

But Leitch says B.C. needs to step in with temporary measures.

"I’d like to see us get halfway there,” says Leitch. “If we are within five per cent, you know, we are going to beat them at this game.”

"It's an easy opportunity in British Columbia to create jobs.”

The provincial NDP says action needs to be taken, but hasn't yet worked out the specifics of its policy.

B.C.’s Minister of Cultural Development, Bill Bennett, says the government will introduce a new policy for the film industry within the next few months, but he would not commit yet to the tax changes the industry is asking for.

“I think there are things we can do through this ministry that I have that will help the industry, but it's not going to require a bunch of money, and you'll have to stay tuned as in terms of what those policy changes may be.”

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