ATLANTA – Barnes & Thornburg LLP played a leading role in the development and passage of HB 155, the Georgia Music Investment Act, which was signed into law by Gov. Nathan Deal on May 8.
Atlanta partner Stephen G. Weizenecker, who worked closely with Georgia Music Partners, Inc., and the Recording Academy Atlanta Chapter, was the sole private practice attorney involved in drafting the bill, which creates Georgia’s first-ever tax incentive specifically for the music industry.
“This is a huge milestone for Georgia’s music scene and will afford many new opportunities to artists and companies that operate here,” said Weizenecker, a member of the firm’s Entertainment, Media and Sports Practice Group.
Beginning in 2018, a 15 percent refundable tax incentive will be offered for music projects recorded or scored in Georgia and for tours that rehearse and start in the state. An additional 5 percent credit will be available if the production takes place in lesser developed counties.
“We’re incredibly proud of Steve for his efforts in getting this important piece of legislation passed,” said Jason Karlov, chair of the firm’s Entertainment, Media and Sports Practice Group. “This type of client advocacy, combined with unparalleled knowledge of production incentives, is indicative of the impressive work being done by our team in key entertainment markets across the country. Changes in the law that Steve has spearheaded will help the careers of music clients that we represent and bring more money back into the industry.”
Weizenecker serves on Gov. Deal’s Advisory Commission on Film, Music, and Digital Entertainment and on the state’s Legislative Study Committee on Music and Economic Development. He is also on the governing committee of the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Forum on Sports and Entertainment Industries, and is the immediate past chair of the Entertainment and Sports Law Section of the State Bar of Georgia.
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