'House of Cards' Tax Break in Maryland Sought by Star Kevin Spacey

Friday, 28 Mar 2014 06:02 PM

By Angela Deines

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Netflix’s “House of Cards” star Kevin Spacey has asked Maryland lawmakers for a tax break for filming the hit show in the state.

According to Bloomberg News, the Emmy-winning show’s producers and Spacey are seeking a $18.5 million tax break that would be available beginning July 1, an increase from $7.5 million from the current budget year.

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The Maryland Senate has approved the tax credit increase and it will be discussed during a committee hearing on Wednesday of the state’s House of Delegates.

Most states provide tax breaks, meant to benefit local vendors, for television and movie productions.

According to the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, “House of Cards” has spent or plans to spend $175 million in the state over the course of the show’s three seasons. The show has used several Maryland locations to depict Washington, D.C.-based scenes.

Charlie Goldstein, senior vice president of Media Rights Capital Studios, which owns the show’s production company, wrote a letter that was submitted to support a similar tax incentive bill that was discussed during a Feb. 14 House of Delegates hearing.

“In the event sufficient incentives do not become available, we will have to break down our stage, sets, and offices and set up in another state,” Goldstein said in the letter, Bloomberg reported.

Goldstein’s letter raised the ire of many of Maryland’s legislators and the show’s lobbyist, Gerard Evans, put some distance between himself and the letter.

“It was unfortunate,” he said, according to Bloomberg. “I think we’ve gotten over that.”

The House of Delegates this week passed a measure requiring state officials to use their eminent domain power to seize real and intellectual property from any production company that stops filming after taking more than $10 million in tax credits. The “House of Cards” show is the only entity that would be affected if the legislation passes.

Last Friday, Spacey, who plays Frank Underwood, a manipulative Congressman from South Carolina in “House of Cards,” attended a wine reception in Annapolis to urge the state’s lawmakers to adopt the increased tax credits.

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