Sadly, it turns out that comments made by finance minister Diana Whalen last week denouncing the Nova Scotia film tax credit weren't just woefully off script, the Liberal government did indeed decide to cut the Nova Scotia film industry tax credit from 100 percent refundable to 25 percent, beginning July 1, as announced in today's 2015/16 budget reveal. Despite Whalen happily accepting a petition with over 25,000 signatures just yesterday, the cut went ahead as planned and people are none too pleased.
Now the tax credit will depend on how much film production companies pay out in taxes, meaning some companies can retain the 100 percent tax credit if they pay enough in provincial taxes.
Despite extensive warnings from industry professionals that a change in the tax credit will result in a mass exodus from the province, taking with it millions in revenue for local workers, restaurants, equipment, car rentals, hotels and effectively gut the industry, the Liberal government seems to be playing chicken, choosing instead a $18 million reduction in payouts next year, dropping the expected amount of payouts to be $6 million. In addition, Film and Creative Industries Nova Scotia has also been axed and will be absorbed by Nova Scotia Business Inc. No one is learning the important lesson that refusing to invest in creative culture is a huge mistake. The Liberal budget sounds short-sighted, but don't take thousands of industry professionals' word for it, why not ask Saskatchewan how their tax credit cut went?
Here's the budget if you want to have a read, you'd better believe there are some gems in here.