Georgia Music Partners introduce legislation to expand local music industry

Ed Roland is a Georgia native who still lives and works here. Photo: Melissa Ruggieri/AJC

Ed Roland is a Georgia native who still lives and works here. Photo: Melissa Ruggieri/AJC

Georgia Music Partners is hoping the benefits extended to the movie business will have a similar outcome for the local music industry.

On Wednesday, Rep. Bert Reeves of Marietta, with the support of Georgia Music Partners, introduced a bill in the Georgia House of Representatives (House bill 956) to grow the music industry in Georgia.

The music business in the state generates $3.7 billion in annual revenue, according to an economic impact study in 2011, and the goal is to keep Georgia’s homegrown talent working in Georgia while also continuing infrastructure development of music facilities.

The bill requests:

  • Recorded music tax credit
  • Sales tax exemption for music-related equipment (for educational purposes)

“Georgia has a rich legacy of supremely talent artists, from Otis Redding and to R.E.M., to Alan Jackson and the Allman Brothers Band,” said Georgia Music Partners co-president Mala Sharma. “Today, young artists such as Luke Bryan, Future and Phillip Phillips are reaching a worldwide audience through a wide array of live and online mediums including world tours, and digital and global distribution platforms. House Bill 956 will foster exponential growth of music in our state while also promoting significant job creation.”

Renowned Atlanta vocal coach and producer “Mama” Jan Smith has watched the Georgia music industry blossom and believes there are thousands of jobs that could still be created.

“In expanding my own one-woman operation into providing gainful employment for many others, and now expanding into several other support businesses for artist education and development, and music technologies, I not only see the future capabilities, but am living proof that the music industry can and will strengthen the very infrastructure of our great city and state,” Smith said. “As a music professional who derives 100 percent of my income from my businesses, I not only want to see these proposed tax incentives for our community, but we need them for our state to be seen as a leader in today’s music economy and to thrive in the future with what we already richly possess. Atlanta is my home and I’ve kept my businesses here for a reason. There’s no reason we can’t make Atlanta the first and best choice for everyone else.”

On March 2, Georgia Music Day will be celebrated at the state Capitol. Musical guests will include Collective Soul’s Ed Roland and Yacht Rock Revue.

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