- Associated Press - Friday, February 21, 2014

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Netflix political drama series “House of Cards” is demanding millions of dollars more in tax credits from Maryland, or it will go elsewhere.

The Washington Post reports (https://wapo.st/1oYlUQC ) that California-based production company Media Rights Capital has pushed back its filming schedule for its third season to see if lawmakers boost credits for film and television projects enough.

Last year, lawmakers boosted the $7.5 million annual allocation to $25 million, but they’re divided on whether to do that again.

“This just keeps getting bigger and bigger” Del. Eric Luedtke (D-Montgomery) said at a hearing on the issue last week. He has supported film tax credits in the past. “And my question is: When does it stop?”

The first two seasons of the show focused on a politician who threatens and kills in the pursuit of power were filmed in Maryland, mostly in the Baltimore area, and economic development officials say the show injected more than $250 million into the state economy.

Maryland reimbursed Media Rights Capital more than $11 million in tax credits after the first season and that amount could reach $15?million for the second season. Economic development officials hoped to promise another $15 million for the third season.

In a letter to Gov. Martin O’Malley, Media Rights Capital Senior Vice President Charlie Goldstein doesn’t say how much the show is seeking, but he notes filming has been delayed to ensure that enough of an increase is approved.

“In the meantime I wanted you to be aware that we are required to look at other states in which to film on the off chance that the legislation does not pass, or does not cover the amount of tax credits for which we would qualify,” the letter says. “I am sure you can understand that we would not be responsible financiers and a successful production company if we did not have viable options available.”

Two bills that aim to increase the ceiling to $11 million or $18.5 million are in committee and House leaders say some increase is likely. But it’s not clear if the increase will be enough for Maryland to keep the show.

Maryland’s tax credits are in the middle of the range that states offer, but they are behind a handful of states that do not cap their credits, state officials said. The District does not offer tax credits and Virginia lawmakers are considering a tax credit cap increase to $12.5 million a year.


Information from: The Washington Post, https://www.washingtonpost.com

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

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