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Tuesday, April 26, 2011 - 9:45am

Music Industry Wants Tax Breaks

Updated: 3 years ago.
Georgia State University's Rialto Center for the Arts (photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

People that make music in Georgia want their own tax breaks. They’ve put out a study to drum up support for them.

If you put a pricetag on what musicians contributed to the state’s economy in 2009, its total would be about 3.7 billion dollars. That includes everything from concert and recording studio costs to cd sales and the equipment made here to listen to them.

The figure comes from a report commissioned by a music business advocacy group called Georgia Music Partners.

Its president Simon Horrocks says music could bring in more money if the state offered tax incentives, especially as the industry repositions itself in the digital age.

“Part of our goal is to take advantage of the seismic shift that’s happening in the business and not only have the creative force here,” says Horrocks, “but also add to where the business is heading and create infrastructure here.”

Horrocks says other states offer several music tax breaks, whereas Georgia offers just a couple. And those are tied to movie and tv soundtracks by way of a 2008 law giving credits to the film industry.

But Sarah Beth Gehl with the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute says until there’s an independent review of those credits and others, it’s uncertain whether they’re working.

“We should hold the line on tax breaks until we know what we’re getting out of the way ones we have. We have tax breaks on the books for fifty years without knowing what we’re gaining from them anymore,” says Gehl.

The tax reform council recommended sunsetting all the state’s tax incentives and advised lawmakers review them.