For a number of years, the state of Georgia has given tax credits to film and television productions that take place in the state. The program has been hugely successful, as today Georgia ranks behind only powerhouses California and New York the size of their film industries.
However, those tax credits have not extended to the music industry. In fact, despite its recent prominence as the source of many talented artists, the reality is that many Atlanta native musicians choose to relocate to Nashville in neighboring Tennessee to pursue musical success.
The Georgia state legislature is currently trying to advance a bill to change that. Championed by the Georgia Music Partners, the nonprofit arm of The Recording Academy’s Atlanta chapter, House Bill 155 a.k.a. the Georgia Music Investment Act will bring the music industry a program of tax cuts and incentives similar to the one currently given to the film industry. This means money will be given to offset tax liability, making it cheaper to create music in Georgia.
The bill will bring $9 million in net revenue and spur $2.2 billion of economic activity in the state within five years according to music industry estimates.
Here’s the breakdown of the three main parts of the bill via The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
- A 20 percent tax credit for live tour origination (musical or theatrical tours that would rehearse and/or audition in Georgia). To receive credit, a company must spend at least $300,000 annually in the state, whether through hotel, travel, staffing or restaurants, and originate the tour in Georgia. This would not apply to festivals such as Music Midtown or Shaky Knees, or single performances in the state.
- A 20 percent tax credit for recording music that will be released for public consumption. To receive the credit, a company must have a minimum aggregate expenditure of $70,000 annually; if, for example, the record label for a developing artist doesn’t want to spend $70,000 on one artist, it would still receive the credit if it brought in two projects at $35,000 each.
- A 20 percent tax credit for recording of music that will be synchronized into a film, TV show or video game (projects that already received a tax credit from the film industry would not be eligible). To receive the credit, a company must have a minimum aggregate expenditure of $150,000 annually.
Bills like this typically are great for states and there aren’t usually a lot of detractors. However, the Georgia state legislature also considers a lot of bills annually and what kills many bills more than opposition is neglect. So if you’re a Georgia resident, get out there and call your state representative and your state senator. Make sure this bill keeps advancing if you would like to see it pass!