June 22, 2018 / 3:06 PM

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"New York Is Music" Group Aims to Secure Tax Breaks and Encourage Music Industry Growth in New York City


New York City is a huge hub in both the national and international music industry. Everyone knows that. But few realize how much smaller it is now than it once was, at least in comparison to other growing American markets such as Los Angeles, Nashville and Austin. Now a group of more than 60 companies in the New York area are aiming to pass laws and policies to encourage growth in the market once again. 

New York Is Music, the aforementioned collective, was founded by Downtown Music Publishing CEO Justin Kalifowitz along with Bill Harvey of William Harvey Studio. The major project on the plate of the organization right now is working to pass the Empire State music Production Tax Credit Bill. The legislation would give a 20 percent income tax credit to those recording and producing music in New York City, to both encourage newcomers to the city while discouraging others from leaving. The New York Times estimates the value of the legislation to be around $60 million in tax breaks. New York already has a similar plan in place for film and television producers. 

One of the major political proponents of the bill is Brooklyn assemblyman Joseph Lentol, apparently a surprise to Billboard, who revealed that "the oft-derided borough is actually a hub of music activity." 

It sounds like a great plan but Kalifowitz should work on his pitch. 

"Part of our issue is there's no statistical evidence," he said, using a phrase that will always fail in debate class. "The challenge is self-identifying who we are as an industry."         

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