Nova Scotia

Jesse Stone producer says verdict pending on Nova Scotia film incentive

As Stephen McNeil's government continues to revamp its incentives for the animation, film and TV industry, their efforts have yet to persuade one Hollywood producer lured to Nova Scotia a decade ago.

Tax credit debacle means producer of Tom Selleck's series won't commit to return to province

Tom Selleck has starred in the Jesse Stone movie series since 2005. The series is shot in Nova Scotia and the ninth instalment resumed shooting in Halifax earlier this week. (Carlo Allegri/Associated Press)

As Stephen McNeil's government continues to revamp its incentives for the animation, film and TV industry, their efforts have yet to persuade one Hollywood producer lured to Nova Scotia a decade ago.

"Producers such as myself require more information from the Nova Scotia government before we can/will make our decisions as to whether it makes financial sense to return to the province," Steven Brandman, a producer of the Jesse Stone movie series starring Tom Selleck, wrote in an email to CBC News.

The series has been shot in Nova Scotia since 2005 and the ninth instalment resumed shooting in Halifax this week.

Brandman appeared at a large demonstration at the Nova Scotia legislature last month, warning a budget measure slashing the province's film tax credit would drive productions out of the province.

The film tax credit paid up to 65 per cent of wages for productions in the province.

The Liberal government announced in its spring budget that it was cutting the credit by 75 per cent, saying it could not afford the $24-million annual cost.

After an outcry, the Liberals scrapped the film tax credit entirely, replacing it with an incentive that pays producers up 25 per cent of all costs incurred in Nova Scotia.

What is unclear is whether the rebate available will be capped and the amount available to the industry.

In a briefing, officials with the provincial Department of Finance have said the total pot of money available for the incentive would be $10 million and indicated individual rebates would be up capped at a maximum of $5 million in production costs.

Since then, the government has been vague — a point made by Brandman in an e-mailed response to CBC News inquiries this week.

"We need to know what caps, if any, will be implemented as well as what caps, if any, will dictate the annual revenue available to the film industry," Brandman wrote.

"Until these realities are determined, I can tell you that there is no way we could further consider Nova Scotia as a shooting location."

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