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Tax Credits For Recording Music In Ohio? That's A Familiar Tune

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Roger Mastroianni / Cleveland Institute of Music
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State Rep. Kent Smith says the bill is perfect for Ohio due to its regional orchestras and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, among other reasons.

Given the success of Ohio’s Motion Picture Tax Credit, Ohio lawmakers are now trying to offer the same treatment to music recording.

State representatives have introduced a bill to give a 25 percent tax credit to musicians who use Ohio recording studios for projects costing more than $10,000. The bill will have an annual cap of $1 million in credits and a per-project cap of $75,000.

State Rep. Kent Smith, one of the bill’s sponsors, says the legislation is perfect for Ohio because of the state’s musical assets.

“(We have) programs in higher education, be it at Oberlin, Baldwin Wallace College, Tri-C,” Smith says. “Obviously, we also have the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, we have Alternative Press magazine, over 300 recording studios across the state, and (as of 2010) Ohio is actually home to 16 regional orchestras.”

He says the new bill would have similar benefits to Ohio’s Motion Picture Tax Credit.

“We’ve been met with some skepticism, but the film production tax credit was met with skepticism also, and I think everybody in Columbus now agrees that it was a good economic policy for Ohio,” Smith says. “So we’re just trying to capitalize on the same success.”

Smith attempted to get a similar bill passed in 2015. This version has a lower cap and more sponsors.