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Negotiations Fail For Raising Film Tax Credit

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Alex DeMetrick has been a general assignment reporter with WJZ...
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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — You can’t call Maryland legislators starstruck. Under pressure from Hollywood to increase tax breaks for filming here, lawmakers went for a cliffhanger ending.

Alex DeMetrick has more.

The Netflix series “House of Cards” follows an unscrupulous politician using film locations throughout Maryland.

In the final minutes of Maryland’s legislative session, lawmakers couldn’t get an increase in the state’s film tax credit “House of Cards” says it needs to keep shooting here or move someplace else.

The immediate reaction:

“It’s like keeping Joe Flacco as quarterback of the Ravens. We want to keep the moviemakers here in the state,” said Senate President Mike Miller.

In the past, a charm offensive by Hollywood celebrated the tax incentives for filming in Maryland.

The HBO comedy series “Veep” also relies on that break and Governor Martin O’Malley stressed it’s an investment that pays off.

“Veep actually generated $32 million in economic development here in the state,” O’Malley said.

A film production revolves around a core of Hollywood players but it takes a lot more local talent to pull off, from technical to trades to keeping everyone fed.

“When the movies are in Baltimore shooting, it often makes the difference between having a profit and not having a profit,” said Leroy Dixon, Party Plus.

A $3.5 million increase in tax breaks was proposed. It failed when lawmakers couldn’t agree on language.

“We’re going to find a way to do that and we’re going to depend on the governor to do that,” said Miller.

The film tax credit remains at $15 million. “House of Cards” has received the majority of that break.

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