Georgia’s film industry took off in 2008 when lawmakers approved the Georgia Entertainment Industry Investment Act to attract movie and TV productions with favorable tax credits.
In the year prior, the economic impact of the film industry was just $241 million. That number would skyrocket in the following years, and production in the Peach State accumulated a staggering $4.4 billion in 2021.
The music industry has taken notice of this economic explosion and are now pushing for lawmakers to pass similar tax incentives for musical producers and performers.
Recently, the Joint Georgia Music Heritage Study Committee began hosting meetings to discuss how they can grow music in the state, specifically through the passage of a tax program.
“We see what has happened with the film business,” said Chuck Leavell, the keyboardist and musical director for The Rolling Stones, to the joint committee. “You’re going to attract all manner of performers … if we can put these incentives in place.”
In 2017, the music industry did receive a tax incentive package for live and recorded performances, but it will sunset at the end of this year and is nowhere near as beneficial as the one in the film industry.
For this reason, members of the joint committee plan to submit House Bill 1330 to the lawmakers, which would lower the local spending threshold to receive tax credits in Georgia. The threshold is $500,000 and $250,000 for live and recorded performances respectively, and the bill would lower those numbers to $100,000 and $50,000.
Additionally, House Bill 1330 would double the tax deduction percentage of quality production expenses from 15% to 30%.
Supporters already submitted this bill back in March, but it unfortunately died at the State Senate level. That was only the beginning though, and it will get resubmitted in early 2023.
“Music brings us together. What brings us together also makes money,” said Alex Morrison, Macon-Bibb County’s Director of Planning and Public Spaces, to the joint committee. “We hope we can be an example to the rest of the state of how we use music to grow our economy.”