Planning for Prosperity: A Consultation for the People
The government is currently conducting a consultation called “Planning for Prosperity” – a review of current spending that will affect what funding programs now and in the future.
As part of our ongoing advocacy, FilmOntario is taking this opportunity to highlight the effectiveness of the film and television tax credits in providing jobs and investment for the people of Ontario.
The consultation includes an online survey. Since the results of this survey will help determine where government funds are spent over the next few years, we encourage you to take a few minutes to fill it out – this is your opportunity to make your voice heard!
Section B of the survey asks you to submit ideas about how to improve government services. This is what FilmOntario submitted on behalf of our members:
Stable and effective film and television tax credits attract significant investment that creates jobs in Ontario. Film and television tax credits demonstrate that Ontario is open for business and the jobs they create are a benefit for the people of Ontario.
Film and television tax credits were introduced by the Harris government in 1997 and have been a key factor in establishing Ontario as a competitive jurisdiction for film and television content creation. In 2017, spending in this industry was over $1.6 billion, creating jobs for over 32,000 people in Ontario and contributing $2.29 billion to the province’s economy.
A stable and effective tax credit system is essential to attracting film and television production to the province of Ontario – showing that Ontario is open for business. Planning for big budget productions, which in the case of television series may span several years of work, takes place many months before filming ever starts. When these tax credits have been reduced in other jurisdictions, investment in film and television production leaves for more competitive jurisdictions.
Stable and effective tax credits also encourage jobs for the people of Ontario. A stable business environment gives investors the confidence they need to invest in building studio spaces and hiring and training the next generation of film and television workers. Stable and effective film and television tax credits will grow the industry to $2.1 billion by 2022, creating an additional 8,000 jobs for the people in Ontario.
Working with industry to streamline and modernize the film and television tax credit system would demonstrate that Ontario is open for business as a filming jurisdiction and bring more jobs for the people of Ontario.
Film and television tax credits are very effective – in addition to the jobs and investment they create, $1.20 is received in taxes by the province of Ontario for every $1 that is spent on the film and TV credits.
These credits were created when the business environment for producers was very different. Updating the eligibility requirements to take into account the realities of online viewing platforms like Netflix and Amazon would further open Ontario for business by allowing producers to take advantage of these new online platforms.
Additionally, working with industry and other levels of government to find ways to streamline the application process to eliminate duplication of paperwork would reduce red tape for tax credit applicants and ensure that they get their money faster, while at the same time making sure eligibility requirements continue to be met. Producers today wait months to receive their tax credits, they spend more money on interest payments to finance their productions, and less money on creating a product that audiences will love. Streamlining this process would make Ontario more open for business from the film and television industry.
Other provinces and the federal government have already begun the process of streamlining and modernizing their film and television benefits. If Ontario were to do the same, this would make Ontario more open for business by ensuring that the investment and jobs that come from the film and TV industry will continue to grow.
Feel free to cut and paste from the above, but we also encourage you to include your own personal stories with your responses – let the government know what working in the industry has meant to you and your family, and the jobs that have been created across the province as a result of your work.
Section A of the survey asks for your opinion on the effectiveness of government programs. The programs that most benefit our industry would fit under Economic Development (job creation, employment and economic development), General Government and Other Services (provincial taxes, credits and benefits), and Post secondary and Training (ensuring we continue to have highly skilled on- and off-screen talent in Ontario).
We all know these programs are highly effective and a top priority in bringing business to and creating jobs for the people of Ontario – this is your chance to have your say!
Once you have completed the survey, please let us know! Just send a quick note to firstname.lastname@example.org.