The Nova Scotia film tax credit – a numbers game (The Globe & Mail)
Posted by Nordicity in Toronto on Apr 24, 2015

Members of Nova Scotia's film and television industry protest outside the legislature in Halifax on Wednesday, April 15, 2015. (Andrew Vaughan/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

The Nova Scotia film tax credit – a numbers game

Amid a fierce debate over the government of Nova Scotia’s decision to cut a popular film and television tax credit, a key justification for the decision is being called into question.
 
In order to balance its $97.6-million deficit, the Nova Scotia Finance Department is slashing the tax credit rate, currently one of the most generous in Canada, allowing productions to claim up to 65 per cent in labour costs in rebates from the government. “We simply cannot afford to maintain the credit in its current form,” Finance Minister Diana Whalen said at a budget announcement earlier this month.

Screen Nova Scotia, a group representing film, television and digital media players, is now being joined by a senior partner of the consulting firm whose research was cited by the province in disputing the financial justification behind the government’s decision to slash the credit.

In a document handed out by Nova Scotia Finance Department staff during the budget lockup, the government cites numbers from a 2014 economic report produced by the Canadian Media Production Association (CMPA). Production facts and figures used in the report were provided by the Toronto-based consulting firm Nordicity.

“We say it generates a lot of activity in the province and that activity employs people and they pay taxes,” Nordicity senior partner Peter Lyman said. “Generally, it’s a very good return.”

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