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Nova Scotia Compromises On Film Industry Incentives

by Mike Godfrey,, Washington

24 April 2015

The Nova Scotian Government has announced plans to replace the Film Tax Credit with a new film and television industry fund.

The announcement came after the latest discussions between Finance Board officials and industry representatives, held on April 23. Four rounds of talks have been held since Finance Minister Diana Whalen tabled her April 9 Budget, which included plans to overhaul the Film Industry Tax Credit. The Budget proposed that from July 1, 2015, the credit would switch from being fully refundable to just 25 percent refundable.

The proposed new Nova Scotia Film and Television Production Incentive Fund is modeled after a successful program in Alberta. It will fund 25 percent of eligible Nova Scotia costs. If certain conditions were met, this could raise to 30 percent of costs.

Eligible expenses will include: post production; special effects; Nova Scotia labor; rental; food and accommodations; wardrobe, makeup, and hair; production services; musicians, composers, and orchestras; studio facility rental; and equipment rental.

The incentive will be effective from July 1, 2015.

The Government will also establish a Creative Economy Fund, to support the publishing, music, and sound-recording sectors. Fund criteria will be designed in consultation with the sectors. Talks with the animation industry continue.

Whalen said: "We have said all along that we value this industry and want to see it remain in Nova Scotia. I am pleased we have been able to work together to find common ground that respects the fiscal challenges facing Nova Scotia and also supports the film and television production industry in the province. The proposed arrangement stays within the fiscal plan announced on Budget day."

In a statement, the Board of industry association Screen Nova Scotia said: "The new proposal on the table is not perfect; and many details still need to be worked out. But the broad contours of the deal should allow the Nova Scotia film industry to remain competitive with other jurisdictions. It is a change that enables our community to get back to work, while discussions on the future continue with government. In particular, discussions regarding an incentive for animation that allows that segment to remain competitive are ongoing."

TAGS: tax | business | film finance | tax incentives | tax credits | cultural heritage | food | ministry of finance | tax rates | Canada | tax breaks | tax reform | trade association | trade | services

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