House Bill 155 Form Letter

[YOUR NAME]
[YOUR ADDRESS]
[YOUR PHONE NUMBER]
[YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS]

[TODAYS DATE]

Office of [YOUR REPRESENTATIVE]
[ADDRESS OF YOUR REPRESENTATIVE]

Dear Representative [YOUR REPRESENTATIVE],

I want to begin by saying thank you for your service to our state. I am a member of Georgia’s music industry and one of your constituents from [YOUR DISTRICT NUMBER], I greatly appreciate all of your efforts to help grow jobs in Georgia. My colleagues and I are also working hard to attract new, innovative businesses to the music industry. Part of that effort involves establishing a climate welcoming and open to growth. I am writing to ask you to support House Bill 155, the Georgia Music Investment Act. Passing this bill will be the first step toward bringing music jobs back to Georgia. If passed, this bill will create over 10,000 job opportunities for recording, scoring and live production work. These jobs include entry level administrative positions with music businesses; technical jobs for lighting and sound design; and creative jobs for artists, choreographers, musicians and producers.

Georgia’s music industry, while still strong, is not what it has been in years past. We see the trend of talent, businesses and opportunities being lured to Nashville, Austin, New York and LA. Our music community continues to contribute to Georgia artistically and culturally but most significantly, we contribute economically. It’s time for the state to invest in bringing music jobs back to Georgia. 

I’d like to address a rumor about this bill. Misleading and erroneous information is being circulated that the Georgia Musical Incentive Act (HB155) imposes some kind of new or increased tax obligation on performers who work in Georgia.  This is false.  Earlier drafts of the legislation simply mirrored the provisions of the existing and very successful Georgia entertainment incentive (O.C.G.A. 48-7-40.26), which requires production companies to withhold certain amounts on payments made to performers’ loan out companies.  The withholding requirement does not impose any new or additional obligations on the artists or their loan out companies, who are already required by Georgia law to file resident or nonresident tax returns to reflect income earned in the state.  The intention of the withholding language was to help ensure that the State of Georgia would receive income tax on the wages it would be incentivizing through the proposed tax credit and only applied to those production companies applying for the tax credit.  Any withholding obligation is solely the responsibility of the production company claiming credits for those payments.

For your reference, I have included the draft language that has since been struck from HB155:

167 (g) A production company shall withhold Georgia income tax at the rate of 5 percent on
168 all payments to loan-out companies for services performed in Georgia. Any amounts so
169 withheld shall be deemed to have been withheld by the loan-out company on wages paid
170 to its employees for services performed in Georgia pursuant to Article 5 of this chapter,
171 notwithstanding the exclusion provided in subparagraph (K) of paragraph (10) of Code
172 Section 48-7-100. The amounts so withheld shall be allocated to the loan-out company’s
173 employees based on the payments made to the loan-out company's employees for services
174 performed in Georgia. For purposes of this chapter and notwithstanding any other
175 provision in this chapter to the contrary, loan-out company nonresident employees
176 performing services in Georgia shall be considered taxable nonresidents and the loan-out
177 company shall be subject to income taxation in the taxable year in which the loan-out
178 company's employees perform services in Georgia. Such withholding liability shall be
179 subject to penalties and interest in the same manner as the employee withholding taxes
180 imposed by Article 5 of this chapter and the state revenue commissioner shall provide by
181 regulation the manner in which such liability shall be assessed and collected.

For over 80 years Georgia Grown Musical Talent has contributed billions of dollars, year after year, to the state’s economy.  It’s time for music to receive the recognition it deserves and an investment from our state that has benefited so greatly from its diverse talent.  Film/TV and Video Game Developers have experienced growth and success with the targeted tax incentives for their industries.  HB-155 lifts all aspects of the music industry; recording, scoring, and live productions.  In its entirety it will attract projects that can help rebuild Georgia’s music ecosystem.

Thank you for your consideration.  I ask for your unwavering support by voting for HB155.

Sincerely,
[YOUR NAME]