Manitoba sets 30% foreign film tax credit

Province extends its tax credit offerings to 2014

TORONTO -- Manitoba has introduced a 30% all-spend foreign film tax credit to outpace 25% all-spend tax credits in Ontario and Quebec now siphoning Hollywood production to those rival provinces.

As Manitoba extended its film tax credit offerings to 2014, the province will allow foreign producers that start shooting locally after April 1 to either apply for the new 30% tax credit on all production costs incurred, including labor, or use an existing film tax credit to offset up to 65% of local labor costs.

Ontario and Quebec earlier goosed their film tax credits to all-spends to keep pace with competing U.S. states like Louisiana and New Mexico, and to mitigate the impact of the falling value of the American greenback and reduced movie production in Hollywood during the economic downturn.

Carole Vivier, CEO of Manitoba Film & Music, which markets the province to Los Angeles producers, said Manitoba also had to keep pace with rival locales that amended or added all spend incentives. "As proven in the past, this new spend incentive will stimulate further growth in Manitoba's film industry and infrastructure," she said.

British Columbia, the biggest Canadian magnet for Hollywood production owing to its proximity to Los Angeles, recently sweetened its tax credit for labor on local shoots and introduced a tax credit for video game production, but has stopped short of matching the 25% all-spend tax credits in Ontario and Quebec.

Manitoba long pioneered the film tax credit by being the first province to introduce a frequent filming bonus and reducing paperwork by allowing federal and provincial credits to be secured with one application process.

The introduction of an all-spend tax credit follows pressure from Manitoba producers to tweak the province's film tax credit to include expenditures on production rentals, equipment and other costs.