Victoria film industry hoping for tax credit in B.C. budget
Film industry in Victoria does not currently benefit from a 6% tax credit like elsewhere in B.C.
The film industry in Victoria, B.C., is hoping the 2014 provincial budget, tabled Tuesday, includes a special tax credit for filming in the capital region.
Production companies that film in locations outside the Lower Mainland currently receive a 6 per cent tax credit. All of Vancouver Island — except for the Greater Victoria region — also benefits from the tax break.
Vancouver Island South Film Commissioner Kathleen Gilbert says the Liberal party promised to change that if elected.
Now, Gilbert says, three production companies are waiting to see if the Liberals fulfill their commitment in the 2014 provincial budget before they decide to film in Victoria.
George Heyman, film and media critic for the B.C. New Democrats, says it's about time the government made good on its promise.
"They had an opportunity to bring that into the budget they presented right after the election in July. They did nothing. They had an opportunity to signal that in the intervening months, so that productions can make decisions. They did nothing. It's not in the Throne Speech. We'll be watching carefully to see if it's in the budget," said Heyman.
"It's beyond me why a win-win situation like this wouldn't be seized by the Liberal government."
B.C. Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training Shirley Bond has hinted the tax break is indeed coming.
"We made a commitment in our platform to look at the rural tax credit issue and look at Victoria. So certainly Minister De Jong and I have had conversations about that, so it's just a a matter of time," said Bond.
De Jong has not confirmed whether that time is today, but he did say he hopes the film commissioner is watching when he tables the budget on Tuesday.
With files from CBC's Lisa Cardasco