ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Maryland lawmakers who scrambled to keep House of Cards from packing up and moving away this year may have a rerun on their hands next year. A legislative analysis of the state’s Film Tax Credit program has been completed. The program got a hearing Tuesday.
Political reporter Pat Warren has the results.
It was one of the most colorful battles of the 2014 session, making sure House of Cards got enough tax credits to continue shooting here. Now the question is what is Maryland getting in return?
Fans of the show will appreciate the irony. Maryland lawmakers hoped to avoid dying in the wilderness when House of Cards warned it would consider shooting elsewhere if the Film Tax Credit wasn’t extended.
“That’s like keeping Joe Flacco quarterback of the Ravens. We want to keep these moneymakers here in the state,” said Mike Miller.
According to the Department of Legislative Services, the return to the state is overrated. Since 2012, Maryland has allocated $62.5 million tax credits. Based on the newest analysis, the return is a dime on the dollar: six cents to the state and four cents to the locals.
“We’re having to make some very critical evaluations of what we do for the film industry but how do we benefit all the employers in Maryland,” said David Brinkley.
Millions of those credits have been split between House of Cards and Veep and only four jurisdictions—Baltimore City and Baltimore, Harford and Anne Arundel counties—get the primary benefits of the film production in the state.
The Maryland Film Industry Coalition says the legislative report is too narrow an assessment to reflect the actual benefits.
The credits roll in January when the General Assembly gets back to work.
The credits are set to expire in 2016 unless there’s a move to extend them.
The incoming Hogan administration is looking at all budgetary matters in the state.
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