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New York State Budget Now Includes Tax Credits for Music

With the passing of New York state's budget early Wednesday, a program to incentivize music production is now on the books.

With the passing of New York state’s budget early Wednesday, a program to incentivize music production is now on the books. 

In the approved budget, the state’s Excelsior Jobs Program has been expanded to include tax credits to benefit the creation of new music in the Empire State. The new bill defines that now-included “music production” as “the process of creating sound recordings of at least eight minutes, recorded in professional sound studios, intended for commercial release.”

NY Assembly Budget Includes Tax Credit, Covering Up to 35% of In-State Music Production Expenses

It does not include live concert recordings or those that are of primarily spoken word, wildlife or nature sounds or produced for instructional, advertising or promotional purposes. 

Qualifying music production businesses must create at least five net new jobs. 

This follows a campaign for the Empire State Music Production Tax Credit led by Assemblyman Joseph R. Lentol (D-North Brooklyn) that had proposed a 25 percent credit downstate and 35 percent credit upstate available to music production companies. That credit’s intention was to benefit a wide range of music professionals, from musicians to engineers and sound mixers. Instead, in the final budget, legislature opted to open the Excelsior Jobs Tax Credit Program to entertainment companies. 

‘New York Is Music’ Coalition Aims to Stimulate Empire State’s Ailing Music Industry

Lentol’s tax credit had been formed with input from the New York Is Music Coalition. In a press release Thursday, that organization with more than 200 participating businesses and organizations stated it “will continue working with lawmakers to ensure its goals are achieved trough the Excelsior Jobs Program.”

“We’d like to thank Governor Cuomo, the Legislature, and especially Assemblyman Lentol, for recognizing the unique contributions of New York’s music industry,” it continued. “Extending Excelsior to cover music production, alongside other strategic industries, establishes the economic importance of music and confirms Albany’s interest in collaborating to address the challenges we face.”

The Excelsior Jobs Tax Credit Program provides incentives for targeted industries to create and maintain new jobs in the state. The new budget also brings entertainment companies into the program, defining those as an entity engaged in the production of film, television, commercials, animation, music videos and radio programs.