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Ontario's tax credits to take a hit?

Ontario, the home province of Toronto, is set to take a massive hit to its production services tax incentives. If plans go ahead the tax credit for all foreign production spending will be reduced from 25% to 21.5%.

Though not a huge drop, the shift threatens to deter Hollywood producers from choosing to shoot there despite the present popularity caused in huge part by the recent stability of the tax credit.

In 2013-14 the province gave foreign producers $224.7m in tax breaks for 174 projects according to the Ontario Media Development Corp., which markets Ontario to the film and television industry in Hollywood.

So far this year $300m has been committed to filming in Ontario by Hollywood producers but that number could dwindle if productions are not locked in at the previous 25% rate.

There has been rampant speculation from key industry figures in Toronto that there will be further reductions to come, which could drive many foreign productions away for good. Paul Bronfman, chairman of Pinewood Toronto Studios and CEO of rental-equipment company William F. White, said on the subject: “Our credibility is blown forever now.”

Despite the setback, the city is currently hosting major projects including: Warner Bros. DC epic Suicide Squad starring Will Smith, Ricky Gervais' Special Correspondents and Abbie Cornish’s Lavender.