To maintain its competitive edge, Ontario followed Quebec's lead in boosting its film and television tax credits from 25 per cent of labour expenses to 25 per cent of the overall budget of films and TV shows shot in the region, it was announced late Monday.
In a bid to lure more foreign service productions to Quebec, the provincial government beefed up its tax credits two weeks ago, and further sweetened the pot by offering an additional 5 per cent for films that require digital animation and/or special effects. So far, Ontario has not matched Quebec's 5-per-cent bonus for animation.
Karen Thorne-Stone, president and chief executive of the Ontario Media Development Corp., welcomed the news yesterday saying it will help Ontario stay an industry leader, by including all costs such as equipment rentals, studios, caterers, hotel accommodations, and suppliers. "We have the benefit of a very strong and diverse industry in Ontario, with both strong domestic and foreign service sectors that feed off one another."
The changes effectively double the tax credit, since labour typically accounts for roughly half of the budget for most television and film productions.
There is no word, yet, on whether British Columbia - one of the top film markets in Canada along with Ontario and Montreal - will also move from labour to all-spend credits.
"Scouting levels have been way up so far this year, so hopefully this announcement will help us secure a number of those projects," added Thorne-Stone.