Some states want to lure film and television business to shoot in their cities by offering a tax incentive, but Georgia is concentrating on the music business. On January 1st, the new Music Investment Act went into effect offering 15% of tax relief for tours and music projects created in the state.
House Bill 155 gives a 15 percent tax incentive to production companies with a live performance of $500,000, $250,000 for stand-alone scoring projects, and $100,000 for recorded music performances. For expenses incurred in Georgia’s least developed counties, there’s an extra tax credit of 5 percent, bringing the maximum possible credit up to 20 percent.
According to the Georgia Music Partners website, “Qualified production expenditures include costs for recording, studio and music equipment rentals, set construction and operation, wardrobe, makeup, accessories, photography, lighting, editing, vehicle and transportation costs, food and lodging, payments to employees, talent and producers or their loan outs, insurance and bonding, and other direct costs of production in accordance with generally accepted music industry practices.”
Atlanta has become a hub for r&b and hip-hop in recent years and the state is doing everything it can for it to maintain that status. In recent years both Louisiana and New York have offered similar incentives. Louisiana let its tax credit bill lapse after a few years on the books as it found it didn’t provide as much of a boost to its music industry as anticipated, but Georgia, like New York, already has an established music scene that’s thriving at the moment.
In this case the idea is to keep music makers from leaving the state as much as it is to bring new ones there, but the fact is that Georgia is being proactive with the arts and it’s paid off. The state’s film tax credit has been very successful in getting big Hollywood productions to relocate.