Nova Scotia film industry optimistic in tax credit talks with province
'There's a mutual desire to get it done quickly,' says Scott Simpson
Representatives from Nova Scotia's film industry say progress is being made in talks with the provincial government on proposed changes to the $24-million film tax credit.
"We're pleased with the progress that is being made," Marc Almon, the chair of Screen Nova Scotia, told reporters on Wednesday after a four-hour meeting with Department of Finance officials.
"We've been workshopping a solution here that could help the industry."
He would not give details about any changes that might be in the works, but said both sides plan to get back to the table on Thursday. Wednesday's meeting marked the third session of head-to-head talks in about a week.
Scott Simpson, the vice chairman of Screen Nova Scotia, said he believes the sides are close to an agreement.
"We think we're close, we're moving forward," he said.
"There's a mutual desire to get it done quickly as the budget is moving its way through the House. We're confident we are going to find some common ground very soon."
Premier Stephen McNeil said Wednesday it is encouraging both sides are continuing to talk.
"We're grateful for that and hopefully we can find a resolution that everyone is happy with."
The government has said it can't afford what it calls a rich tax break, but actors and producers say the move to reduce the tax credit to $6 million beginning July 1 will gut film and TV production in Nova Scotia.
In its spring budget, the provincial government announced that the film industry tax credit will only cover 25 per cent of eligible costs, allowing film companies to claim the other 75 per cent of the credit against taxes they owe to the province.
Eligible costs, including up to 65 per cent of salaries, can be fully refunded as it stands.