You'd think that a program like this might be restrictive in what it considers a "recording cost," but it not only covers studio, producer and session musician fees, but in some cases even travel for out-of-state-musicians. And all kinds of recording besides music in the studio are covered as well, including film scores, spoken word performances like audio books, and even live recording.
There are some restrictions to the program however, but a lot of these are in place to make sure that the system isn't gamed. Expenses not included are recording on projects that didn't originate in Louisiana, producer fees in excess of 20% of the project total, excessive equipment rental fees, and duplication and marketing costs. Mixing and master costs also don't qualify unless the recording was initiated in the state as well.
While artists like R.E.M, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Trombone Shorty have benefited from the program, it does max out once it hits a ceiling of $3million per year, and there's speculation that the new legislature may decide to decrease that amount. Also, it can take anywhere from 5 to 8 months to receive any rebate from the program, so the project still has to be fully funded upfront.
Still, it's a great idea that I wish more states initiated. The biggest question I have is, why am I hearing about this only now?
Here's more about The Sound Recording Investor Tax Credit Initiative.
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