Supporters of a tax credit designed to attract more music production jobs to New York State gathered on Tuesday to call on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to sign the bipartisan legislation into law. The Empire State Music Production Tax Credit, which passed easily in both the Assembly and the Senate in June, will provide a 25 percent tax credit for eligible production costs downstate (NYC) and a 35 percent break upstate.
“It is essential that New York enacts this program to jumpstart our dormant music and digital gaming industries,” said Sen. Marty Golden (R-Brooklyn), one of the bill’s main cosponsors. “I am so confident that this legislation will achieve its goal, and provide the leadership we desperately need in New York to grow these two dynamic sectors that deserve to have the Empire State as their global centers.”
Golden’s co-sponsor of the legislation, Assemblyman Joseph R. Lentol (D-Brooklyn), said that “unless we want New York’s music economy to continue its slide into mediocrity we must take a stand.”
The program is capped at $25 million per year. To be eligible, costs must be related to job creation, rental fees, session fees for musicians/engineers, etc., mixing and mastering services, transportation, or for music video production. The bill, which had broad bipartisan support in both the Assembly (118-24) and Senate (60-2), received widespread support from the local music industry, which has been looking for ways to keep jobs and productions from shipping off to places like Canada.
“Across New York State, hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers help maintain New York’s role as the global epicenter of the music industry,” said Justin Kalifowitz, co-founder of New York is Music and CEO of Downtown Music Publishing. “They ensure that all facets of the industry operate in every region of the state at the highest level, creating singularly the most dynamic music ecosystem in the world. And at the heart of that system is music production and the incredibly talented creative and technical professionals working across the state.”
Ben Allison, president of The Recording Academy’s New York chapter, said the legislation “will send a strong message that New York is prepared to reclaim its rightful place as the music capital of the world. It creates a partnership between the music recording business and the State of New York – a partnership that helps to level the playing field and make NY, once again, a cost-effective place to make records.”