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NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo Vetoes Tax Credit to Boost Music Production in State

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has vetoed a a $50 million tax-credit bill designed to boost music production jobs in the state on Monday. 

The bipartisan legislation called the Empire State Music Production Tax Credit would have provided a 25 percent tax credit for eligible music-production-related costs downstate and a 35 percent credit for those costs upstate, capped at $25 million annually. (The other $25 million would have been earmarked for video game production in the state.)

Efforts to push the bill through began two years ago by New York Is Music, a coalition of more than 200 music-related organizations. In June, state Assembly and Senate passed the legislation, sponsored by Assemblyman Joseph R. Lentol (D-Brooklyn) and Sen. Marty Golden (R-Brooklyn). 


New York Is Music co-founder and CEO of Downtown Music Publishing, Justin Kalifowitz, told Crain's New York Business that Cuomo's veto came as a disappointment but is still optimistic in the tax credit's future. 

"In his veto, [Gov. Cuomo] pointed out that he was very supportive of the [music] industry he just didn’t know how it would be paid for," he said. "We are looking forward to working with him on that. We have no doubt that we have significant support. It's just a function of getting the details right."

Meanwhile fiscal watchdog group Citizens Budget Commission, which opposed the bill, view this as a victory, having argued that the tax credit would not provide a return on investment. 


"We are pleased that the Governor heeded our plea to veto this legislation," she told Crain's. "These types of narrowly focused tax credits  should be curtailed, not expanded."

Cuomo's veto came as news reports suggested the 2018 Grammy Awards would return to New York City to be held at Madison Square Garden, after 13 years in Los Angeles. 

Proponents of the Empire State Music Production Tax Credit have claimed it would benefit more than 100,000 New Yorkers who work in music.