At the beginning of this year, the State of Nevada passed a law aimed at bringing jobs while also reducing taxes and strengthening the film industry. The law gives film companies as much as a 20 percent tax credit if a film production is completed in Nevada and the company hires local production crews. Production costs must total more than $500,000 per project with a minimum 60 percent of spending must in the state of Nevada. The cap for each project is $6 million in tax credits. The tax credit not only makes Nevada more appealing for film companies, but local businesses also found increases in business as a result.
In Canada, the federal government launched the Canadian Film of Video Production Tax Credit (CPTC) in 1997, and many provinces followed suit by introducing labour-based and spend-based tax incentive programs, making Canada an even more attractive destination for foreign producers. The Ontario Production Services Tax Credit gives a refundable tax credit of 25% of qualified Ontario labour expenditures. A similar tax credit was launched in the UK in conjunction with the British Film Commission at the end of 2013.
Under the BETTER arts and culture umbrella, I would like to examine whether the City of Toronto could take an approach similar to State of Nevada, while not only allowing for federal and provincial tax credits, but also an additional municipal tax credit, provided that a designated percentage of crew jobs are reserved for Torontonians. I would also look at extending the minimum production budgets from federal and provincial regulations to include smaller, independent productions.
Cutting taxes, hiring locally, and promoting local talent, business, and the City of Toronto as an even more desirable and cost-effective destination for film productions are all desirable outcomes of what I, as a candidate for Mayor of Toronto, would propose as regulations to the arts and culture sectors in Toronto.