Music recording included in state tax incentive program

Volume 115, No. 5May, 2015

Maya Kremen
Local 802 political director Maya Kremen and Rep. Joe Lentol spoke in favor of a tax credit program for music production at a press conference in Albany.

Local 802 political director Maya Kremen and Rep. Joe Lentol spoke in favor of a tax credit program for music production at a press conference in Albany.

Along with Assembly Member Joe Lentol (D-Brooklyn), and a coalition called New York is Music, Local 802 spent the last few months advocating for the inclusion in the budget of the Music Production Tax Credit, a $25 million state program that would allow those funding recording projects to qualify for tax credits.

As a result, we made progress pushing forward the case for keeping recording industry jobs in New York State. State Senator Kevin Parker (D-Brooklyn) introduced the bill in early April. Additionally, music production was included in the state budget as an industry eligible for the Excelsior Jobs Program, which provides tax credits for companies in a number of industries. That means that those in the business of music production will be considered along with industries such as agriculture, financial services and manufacturing to qualify for tax credits if they create jobs. To qualify for this tax credit, an employer would have to generate at least five jobs, among other criteria. Music production is defined in the budget as “the process of creating sound recordings of at least eight minutes, recorded in professional sound studios, intended for commercial release.”

The inclusion of Music Production in the Excelsior Jobs Program is a good first step, but there is more work to be done. Local 802 will continue working with those administering the credit to ensure that it works to bring more jobs to the recording industry and with elected officials and others in the recording industry community to make sure that the state gives incentives to businesses that create recording industry jobs.

In a statement, the New York chapter of the Recording Musicians Association said, “The inclusion of the recording industry in the Excelsior Jobs Program is a good step forward, and we applaud Governor Cuomo, Assembly Member Joe Lentol and our state legislators for recognizing recording as a key entertainment business in our region. Tax credits for creative music activities and studio infrastructure will lead to revitalization in business and employment, and we look forward to working closely with Local 802, NY is Music and grassroots organizations such as the Content Creators Coalition to support these important efforts, and to ensure that workers in the recording industry can benefit from this and future measures.”

Assembly Member Lentol is to be commended for strong advocacy for music production and recording in New York, as are Governor Cuomo and the legislature for their recognition of music production in the Excelsior Jobs Program. We also are continuing to work closely with the musicians, studio owners, record labels, instrument retailers and everyone else who comprises NY is Music, and we are thankful to all the Local 802 musicians who signed their name to a petition or advocated for this, and to the Content Creators Coalition, which helped spread the word about the effort. We will work with this coalition going forward to continue to bring attention to keeping jobs for recording musicians and other recording industry workers in the future.

For more information on the Excelsior Jobs Program, see