Monday, March 26, 2012

Debate continues over Sask. film tax credit

Debate continues over Sask. film tax credit

I`m not sure where people think that this is up for debate.  The fact is, a majority government axed the credit in their budget.  There`s no debate - it`s gone.  

And in a province that is humming along quite nicely on its own, continuing to fund an industry that will never be able to stand on its own seems rather illogical.  Even if the industry`s numbers are to be believed, the film industry generated $40 million of activity per year in an economy worth $45-65 Billion dollars.  For those keeping score at home, that`s less than .1% of GDP per year.

Even if the credit is largely revenue neutral, that means that the government took money from workers and business in order to generate no tangible benefit for the province.  That money could have just as easily been left in those pockets to help reduce the sting of higher rents or to re-invest in projects that will either increase the productivity of the province or increase the capacity of the province to generate future tax which would actually benefit the province.

An industry that can not survive without a permanent subsidy in place is no industry at all.  The biggest question I have at this point, is whether Corner Gas would have been filmed in Saskatchewan in the first place, had Brent Butt not been born and raised here?  If Corner Gas was filmed here as a hometown project, what benefit has there really been to the province?

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