Legislator wants to study building music industry in Georgia

alt

Newnan's own Alan Jackson is one of Georgia's homegrown stars that Rep. Ben Harbin says is an example of someone the state could build its music industry around. (Photo by Russ Harrington)

By Walter C. Jones 
Morris News Service
ATLANTA – Georgia has done so well attracting the motion-picture producers to do business here that now a legislator wants to see how to duplicate that success with the music industry.
Considering the number of homegrown stars like Alan Jackson of Newnan, Zac Brown and Trisha Yearwood, there's plenty of talent to build a local industry around, according to Rep. Ben Harbin, R-Evans.
"We want to see what we can do to keep them here," he said. "We really don't know what the answer is." Add to that the entertainers who chose to live in Georgia, like Elton John, Justin Bieber and Usher, the potential is even greater.
The Georgia Department of Economic Development estimates the existing music industry is already $3.8 billion here with 20,000 jobs.
Harbin concluded it could be bigger after discussing the issue recently with Lisa Love, who is director of Music Marketing and Development in our Film, Music & Digital Entertainment division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development. Louisiana, for example, has recently given its music industry a big push with tax breaks.
"I don't want us to say we'll just open the incentives," he said.
Harbin is quick to note that Georgia used tax breaks to lure the movie makers, but once filming became common, studios and other aspects of the industry permanently located in the state even though they don't qualify for most of the targeted tax breaks.
Harbin introduced House Resolution 529 to create a temporary committee to study ways to advance the industry here, from luring the entertainers and recording studios to even the tourism from their fans.
"We'll talk to where the music industry is now – Atlanta, Athens and Savannah," he said.


More Local

10 Things to Know for Today

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today: 1. HOW MORE POLLUTION BECOMES A BIG ... Read More


About 84,000 Georgia children to begin pre-school

ATLANTA (AP) — Department of Early Care and Learning officials say about 84,000 children are expected to enroll in Georgia's pre-kinde ... Read More


Fire Department responds to landing gear issue at airport

The Coweta County Fire Department responded to the Newnan Coweta County Airport – Whitlock Field Sunday afternoon after a pilot radioe ... Read More


One Critical in Saturday's plane crash

One man involved in a single-engine plane crash Saturday in Coweta was listed in critical condition Sunday afternoon at Atlanta Medical Cent ... Read More


Heroin use on the rise in suburbia

Editor’s note: This is the first in a series on the spread of drug addiction, including prescription pills, heroin and other opiates i ... Read More

Coweta Community Foundation board elects chair

These are exciting times for the Coweta Community Foundation, say board members. Since the foundation’s recent merger with numerous no ... Read More