TORONTO (The Hollywood Reporter) — The Canadian province of Saskatchewan on Nov. 3 said it was raising its refundable tax credit to as high as 55% for each film or TV project, foreign or domestic, shot locally.
The Saskatchewan Film and Video Development Corp. (SaskFilm), the province’s production support agency, said it was sweetening the tax credit available to local and visiting film and TV producers from 35% to 45%, effective January 1.
In addition, Saskatchewan will maintain an existing 5% bonus on production expenditures made outside the province’s two main cities, Regina and Saskatoon.
Also, SaskFilm is introducing a new “key position” program that offers another 5% bonus for producers that hire specific Saskatchewan crew members and technicians in both below-the-line and above-the-line positions, including director and production coordinator.
The hike in the Saskatchewan film tax credit keeps pace with rival Nova Scotia, which earlier this year raised its tax credit to 45%, and includes a regional bonus of 5% for production outside Halifax, and an additional “frequent filming bonus” of 5% for producers bringing a number of projects to the province.
Saskatchewan, on the other hand, is offering up to 55% per project, with no obligation for producers to bring a number of projects to the province.
“This is probably the most lucrative tax credit in the country, when you add up everything available on a per-project basis, said Valerie Creighton, CEO and film commissioner of SaskFilm.
Creighton added that the provincial tax credit hike meant Saskatchewan remained competitive and could deliver the incentives and essential infrastructure required to maintain a vibrant local and offshore film and TV industry.
The Saskatchewan film tax credit, similar to those offered in rival Canadian provinces, is based on labor expenditures for production taking place locally.
Creighton said her province did a total CAN$68 million ($58 million) in film and TV production in 2004, and this year was shaping up to be comparable in volume.
Recent provincial film shoots include the Terry Gilliam drama “Tideland,” the Infinity Media and New Line Cinema romantic comedy “Just Friends” and the Columbia Pictures horror feature “The Messengers” — all of which used the regional bonus tax credit.