State Legislators Will Debate a Music Recording Tax Credit


  • Felipe Pipi
Reps. Sarah LaTourette (R-Bainbridge Township) and Kent Smith (D-Euclid) have once again teamed up to introduce a music recording tax credit that, as theorized, would bring artists to Buckeye State to produce new albums. The idea is to fan out the recording industry's base in Ohio, creating jobs and adding one more reason to equate "Ohio" with "destination."

The gist of the bill involves as 25-percent tax credit for "sound recording production projects" done in the state. The program would also "return 25-percent of music studio construction and recording infrastructure costs to qualifying participants." (Studio construction costs must be at least $10,000 to qualify, "with a maximum tax credit of $75,000 per project and a total annual tax credit cap of $1 million for the program.") The program could also be used to expand studios already in operation all over the state.

The representatives attempted this same sort of tax credit bill in 2015, though it didn't get far in the legislative process. That first iteration capped tax credits at $3 million.

Back in the Statehouse, this bill is buoyed by the success of another oft-cited tax credit in the Ohio economic development conversation. The Ohio Motion Picture Tax Incentive passed in 2009, playing a major role in bringing The Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Fate of the Furious and plenty of other films to Cleveland's streets.

The recording infrastructure might be less visible to Ohio's tax base than, say, a shot of the West Shoreway whizzing by in Winter Soldier, but LaTourette and Smith insist that the economic ripple effects would be pronounced.

“While other states, like Georgia, which just signed their program into law on May 8, are also pushing for recording studio incentives, I believe Ohio should get ahead of the curve in attracting new music recording projects as well as growing our existing studios and musical talent,” Smith said in a public statement. “OhioSounds builds upon our proud music history and works to cultivate our state’s musical legacy moving forward.”

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