Re: “Lack of tax breaks costs city film jobs, producer says,” Jan. 22.
Film producers in B.C. already receive a 33 per cent “incentive” on labour costs, but they feel hard done to because B.C. refused to match the 25 per cent incentives on production spending available in Ontario and Quebec.
Victoria apparently doesn’t qualify for an additional six per cent that’s available elsewhere in B.C. and Los Angeles-based producer Cory Large threatens to relocate if he doesn’t get it. Lamenting B.C.’s paltry incentive plan, Large says: “I can shoot a $10-million picture and get $5 million back in Michigan, Louisiana or even Hong Kong.”
Over the past year, there’s been a steady stream of announcements of increasing taxes and fees levied on citizens and businesses to pay for things such as infrastructure upgrading and ferry-fee increases, not to mention the coming levy for sewage.
Film makers and film crews enjoy the benefits and services paid for by those taxes. Large is from Los Angeles, a city whose infrastructure is crumbling because people and businesses there don’t like to pay taxes. I doubt that film crews would find the same level of services that they take for granted here in Detroit or Louisiana — and good luck with cheap food and accommodation in Hong Kong.
The subsidies that the film industry gets already are generous. If it isn’t good enough, let them go elsewhere.
John R. Paterson
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