Proposed tax credit aims to keep Ohio recording industry rocking

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Hollywood movie stars are coming to Cleveland to shoot big box office movies, thanks in part to tax credits from the state. Could big name musicians be next?

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle hope a new tax credit will keep Ohio rocking. The proposal could bring more musicians here and boost the economy.

Cleveland has a rich history as the birthplace of Rock 'N Roll, but the city's influence on music doesn't stop there. Cleveland has its share of musicians who have made it on the national stage, from Bone Thugs-N-Harmony to Machine Gun Kelly.

They've influenced people like Ben Schigel.

"I never liked toys, I liked microphones, recording equipment, speakers," Schigel said.

Schigel toured the world with his band Some Kind of Wonderful and owns Spider Studios in Olmsted Falls.

"We've worked with people like Machine Gun Kelly, Automatic Weapons, Ohio Sky," he said. "We kind of help try to mold them into their sound and then we record it. We record every piece at a time, from drums to guitars."

A new tax incentive called "Ohio Sounds" could bring more projects to places like Spider Studios and in turn, create new jobs. The proposal offers a 25 percent tax credit for sound recording production projects in the state as long as they cost more than $10,000 a project. The maximum tax credit would be $75,000 per project and there would be a total annual tax credit cap of $1 million for the program.

"I think it's a great idea. Because businesses like me and I'm sure a lot of other studios, we need people coming in our doors and I think people getting tax credits is going to open up the door for them to save some money  and come in more, maybe spend some more time," Schigel said.

He thinks the tax credit could attract big names from more expensive places like New York and Los Angeles, and that could help the local music scene.

"There's a lot of good artists here, I think it's just getting the good breaks to put Cleveland on the map," Schigel said.

If the bill passes, the tax credit would not just be limited to Ohio residents. The bill just made it through the Ways and Means Committee and moves to the Ohio State House for a vote next. Georgia and Louisiana already have similar programs in place.

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