To be debated in parliament later this month.

The Italian music industry has expressed its satisfaction with the news that the government coalition led by Romano Prodi has inserted a series of specific fiscal incentives in its 2007 budget, which will be debated in parliament later this month.

The main incentive is a tax credit of up to €100,000 ($127,000) for expenses
regarding the production, development, promotion and digitalization of the first and second album releases by emerging artists.

These incentives are to apply both to recordings and videos. The proposal, which forms Article 20 of the government's budget draft, was revealed on Friday (Sept. 29) and applies to companies with an annual turnover of up to €15 million ($19 million).

"We feel it is very important that an Italian government is finally doing something about the appeals that the music industry has been making for several years," Enzo Mazza, president of FIMI, the representative body for Italy's majors, tells Billboard.biz. "As far as I know, this is the first time that a European government has included such measures in a budget."

For the Italian indies' main representative body, PMI, president Mario Limongelli tells Billboard.biz: "This is a very good sign and our reaction is positive in every sense, even if we have yet to see exactly which companies will benefit from the new budget measures."

The measures are due to come into effect in 2007 and FIMI's Mazza says he is "confident" that the budget will be approved by both houses in the Italian parliament.

"This is an important first step. We also hope to see the passage of the music bill later this year," adds Mazza. "The issues covered in that concern the setting up of a music export office and the treatment of music videos as film shorts, with the same financial incentives."

He is referring to French law, which is renowned for its immense support for the local music industry and which the Italian music industry has been asking its government to emulate for several years. The latest legislative proposals were presented to the Italian parliament's "cultural commission" in July this year.