Video was taken down by #savebcfilm supporters.
I was sent the unofficial video above (which was later taken down) by #savebcfilm supporters to prove to viewers that the money paid to US Studios by the BC government is not a handout but reduction of taxes. Unfortunately the problem is their math is way off and if the math is done correctly, it shows that the BC film subsidy program is a huge taxpayer handout of cash to US studios.
This issue generates a lot of passion but it’s important to just present the facts. So let’s do some math and hope they’ll present a video that shows how the math really works.
BC has 2 programs that help fund films. One is Film Incentive BC and the other is the Production Service Tax Credit. FIBC is for local content and PSTC is for everything else. The vast majority of funding comes from the PSTC because that is what US studios take advantage of. What’s nice is they each provide a simple calculator so someone like the woman above can use it to do the math. So let’s use her numbers.
44% of BC film worker salaries are paid for by the BC & Federal government.
She gets paid $1000. The studio can expect $330 paid to them by the BC government and $107 paid to them by the Federal government. That’s a total of $437. The young lady above pays $300 in taxes but that really has nothing to do with how much the studio gets paid and the studio’s taxes don’t matter either as explained in the FAQ:
Yes, the credit is refundable to the extent it exceeds the corporation’s income tax payable.
So a studio can and in almost all cases get government cash that exceeds the amount of taxes owe. It get’s even worse for taxpayers when it comes to VFX.
60% of BC VFX worker salaries are paid for by the BC & Federal government.
So let’s assume the young lady above worked in VFX and was paid $1,000. She can expect a whopping $584 sent to the studio by the BC and federal government.
What’s startling is that this isn’t enough! BC only offers a subsidy for labor expenditures. Studios are able to get a better deal from Quebec and Ontario because they allow the subsidy to be claimed on all expenses. So BC needs to raise the stakes even more. So there you have it: The race to the bottom.
Here’s my challenge to #savebcfilm (Is there even an official group? Seems ad hoc to me). I know this video wasn’t officially sanctioned by you, it was sanctioned by one of your supporters. However even your most ardent supporters don’t know exactly how the film subsidy program works. I challenge you to make a video showing my math is wrong. I challenge you to acknowledge the fact that the amount of money paid out by the BC government goes beyond a studio’s taxes owed.
UPDATE: Looks like this page was posted on the #savebcfilm Facebook page and promptly deleted. Sad given that I agree with the criticism of Premier Christy Clark for deleting #savebcfilm supporters comments on her Facebook. Also I’m surprised the #savebcfilm people would delete my page from their Facebook: All I did was show people links to BC government calculators on how the film subsidy math works.