Brooklyn Boro

Pols call on Gov. Cuomo to support music industry in New York

Lobby for Tax Credit to Keep Music Industry from Leaving the City

March 22, 2017 By John Alexander Brooklyn Daily Eagle
NY based recording artist Billy Joel performing at Madison Square Garden. AP Photo
Share this:

State Sen. Marty Golden has raised his voice in support of a measure that would allow the music industry in New York to benefit from a tax credit.

Golden joined a chorus of elected officials, including senators Rich Funke and Joseph Griffo and assemblymembers Joseph R. Lentol, Joe Morelle, Robert Carroll, Victor Pichardo and John McDonald.

They all banded together with supporters of New York is Music (NYIM) — a coalition of more than 200 music-related organizations — and videogame industry professionals from around the state who are urging Gov. Andrew Cuomo to join both houses in supporting bipartisan legislation that will create thousands of good jobs in the music production and videogame industries.

Subscribe to our newsletters

The legislation, passed by both chambers of the Legislature last year, is included in both the Senate- and Assembly-adopted budget resolutions and provides a refundable tax credit for music production and videogame development throughout the state.

Although New York has always been regarded as the heart of the music industry, many music-related jobs are being lost to other cities due to rising costs. Last year, for example, New York-based Warner Music added 175 finance jobs in Nashville due to the city’s growing economy and better incentives. Nashville calls itself Music City and is certainly vying hard to make itself the center of the music universe.

“We must support New York’s creative industries because if we don’t another state will,” Lentol said. “Over the years, we have seen our vibrant music industry move to other states and we need to stop this from happening. We also need to ensure further growth of our video game industry. The governor has an opportunity to show New Yorkers that New York wants to be the epicenter of music and video game production. I am hopeful he will make the right decision.”

According to a study commissioned by Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Office of Media and Entertainment, NYC supported 60,000 music-related jobs in 2015, accounting for roughly $5 billion in wages and generating $21 billion in economic output. The report was conducted by the Boston Consulting Group, and while it found the industry still thriving in general, it also indicated that income is being lost due to the closing of small music venues and the inability to harness and expand the presence of digital music services.

“Digital gaming should be at least a $2.5 billion direct industry in our state, with over 10,000 jobs paying on average over $100,000 a year,” Golden said.  “Instead, we have a $60 million industry that has lost a net of 60 companies in the last five years. We must correct this and make New York rank supreme in this industry.”

He added, “I join with my colleague Assemblyman Joseph Lentol in calling today for the enactment of these production credits this session. There is no reason to stall growth in this sector that has the potential to grow by nearly a quarter of a billion dollars within two years. This credit will stop that drain of New York talent, and at the same time, attract the best of the rest to come to the Empire State.”

New York has always been the heart of the music industry. The city helped launch the careers of artists as diverse as Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett to Bob Dylan and Billy Joel. Sony Music Group and Warner Music Group still maintain their corporate offices in Manhattan, even as other cities try to lure away parts of the business.

“Not only does the music industry make New York a cultural capital of the world, it plays a vital role as an economic driver for our economy,” said Tino Gagliardi, president of Local 802 American Federation of Musicians. “Our state and city has unmatched talent and history in the music industry, but for too long other states have lured away well-paying recording industry jobs. The Empire State Music Production Tax Credit will provide the support that our diverse workforce and our world-class music studios need to thrive, grow and create new opportunities for the musicians who make our cultural community world-renowned.”

Leave a Comment

Leave a Comment