Georgia lawmakers advance one music bill, defeat another

Lawmakers advanced one bill that would provide tax credits to music production created in the state and defeated another that would provide an exemption for royalties paid to music artists.

House Bill 155, sponsored by state Rep. Amy Carter, R-Valdosta, would make musical production companies eligible for a nontransferrable 15 percent tax credit in an effort to keep talent within Georgia.

It further proposes that companies producing a live musical or theatrical performance would have to spend at least $500,000 to receive the tax credit. For musical scoring, at least $250,000 would have to be spent, and $100,000 would have to be spent for music recording. An additional 10 percent tax credit would be offered to companies who produce work in Tier 1 and 2 counties where the state is making a strong effort to encourage investment.

“Music made by Georgians, whether it’s the names you know or one of the thousands of unknown creatives behind the scenes, is one of Georgia’s biggest international exports,” Carter said. “With 48 postsecondary music-affiliated majors already available to our Georgia students, this is a measure to keep our students in Georgia.”

The bill has a sunset of five years, after which the credits would end unless reapproved.

Lawmakers ruled against House Bill 196 by a vote of 56-105. Following its defeat, state Rep. Matt Dollar, R-Marietta, requested the bill be sent back to the Rules Committee to be reconsidered, which was approved by a 126-37 vote.

House Bill 196 would have made a musician’s taxable income equal to the amount paid as compensation for the licensing or other authorized use or reproduction.

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