B.C. finance minister announces tax credit changes for film and digital media

Finance Minister Colin Hansen announced new tax measures for B.C.'s film and video game industries at a press conference held at Rainmaker Studio this afternoon.

Earlier this week, the NDP and film-industry leaders gathered at Bridge Studios in Burnaby to draw attention to the need for action to be taken to help B.C.'s film industry maintain its competitive edge in the face of tax credit increases in Ontario and Quebec.

Today, Hansen announced that the new incentive package will include:
Ӣ New BC Interactive Digital Media tax credit for video game development of 17.5 per cent of qualifying B.C. labour costs.
Ӣ Production Services Tax Credit on labour costs for foreign productions increased to 33 per cent from 25 per cent.
Ӣ Digital Animation or Visual Effects tax credit bonus increased to 17.5 per cent from 15 per cent.
Ӣ Qualified B.C. labour expenditures cap increased to 60 per cent from 48 per cent of production costs.

The film tax credit changes will be effective for productions with principal photography that begin after February 28. The B.C. Interactive Digital Media tax credit will be effective for qualifying video game development projects that begin after August 31.

The event was hosted by Minister of Tourism, Culture, and the Arts Kevin Krueger, with speeches by MMPIA chair Peter Leitch, Warren Franklin of Rainmaker Studio, and Howard Donaldson of Propaganda Games.

After the conference, NDP arts and tourism critic Spencer Herbert contacted the Straight to discuss his response to the announcements.