Georgia's music industry is set to get a major tax incentive beginning New Year's Day.
But there are questions as to who exactly the tax incentive will benefit.
The Georgia Music Investment Act is designed to grow the local music industry by offering a 15 percent refundable tax incentive to music projects or tours in Georgia.
Companies that produce work in more rural parts of Georgia are eligible to receive an additional 5 percent credit.
Curtis Daniel III, owner of the popular Patchwerk Studios, said the bill wasn't created to invest in Atlanta's thriving hip-hop industry.
Instead, he said the bill casts a wide net that supports musical and theatrical productions and recorded musical performances.
“I was all in because that's how it was pitched,” Daniel said. “It's a tax credit for the music industry just like the one they got for film and TV.”
Daniel said the more he read into it, the more he realized it was a giving a tax break to production companies with big budgets.
One of the law's minimum requirements is to spend $500,000 on musical or theatrical performances, $250,000 for music used in TV and film, and $100,000 on recoded performances.
Daniel said the budgets and requirements would disqualify many in the local hip-hop industry, a business that is already generating millions of dollars for the state.
State Rep. Ron Stephens, one of the law's sponsors, said Georgia is casting a big net, and considers this a homerun for the state and will boost the economy the same way the movie industry thrives here.
“And that was part of the problem,” Stephens said, “trying to figure out exactly where we want to go with this. It's a broad base.”
Stephens said the bill will bring money and jobs, hoping to tap into the already successful film industry.
But Atlanta's hip-hop scene just wishes it provided specific incentives for recording studios and hip-hop artists that make headlines for their music.
“They call it the Music Act, but it doesn't have nothing to do with the music industry,” Daniel said.
The bill has a lifespan of five years and then will be reevaluated.