Tags: maryland | tv | show | dispute

Maryland Pols Make 'House of Cards' Power Play on Popular Show

Friday, 28 Mar 2014 02:53 PM

By Joe Battaglia

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
In a case of life imitating art, the Maryland House of Delegates passed a hardball budget amendment Thursday threatening to seize the property of the television show "House of Cards" by eminent domain if producers follow through on their threat to film outside the state unless they receive a hefty tax break.

Makers of the Netflix hit political thriller have been angling to for tax relief exceeding the $26.6 million it is currently claiming. Just last week, actor Kevin Spacey was deployed to Annapolis to try and charm money out of legislators over crab balls, filet mignon skewers and themed cocktails at the Red Wine Bar.

Editor's Note: Seniors Scoop Up Unclaimed $20,500 Checks? (See if You qualify)

But if that doesn't help persuade the state to approve more tax credits, producers have made clear their intention to leave Maryland, the Washington Post reports.

In a letter to Gov. Martin O'Malley that was published by the Post, Charlie Goldstein, senior vice-president of television production for Media Rights Capital, indicated that beginning of filming of the show's third season had been delayed until June to ensure that a big enough increase has been approved. Without that further reimbursement, Goldstein threatened that his company would "break down our stage, sets and offices and set up in another state."

At a budget hearing last Friday, Del. Mark N. Fisher said, "We're almost being held for ransom."

Refusing to sit by idly, Del. Bill Frick on Thursday channeled the legislative mastery of Frank Underwood, the lead character portrayed by Spacey on "House of Cards," and introduced a measure that would enable Maryland to use eminent domain to seize the property of film production companies receiving more than $10 million in tax credits should they opt to decamp and move to another state.

The amendment reads "the Department of Business and Economic Development, under certain circumstances, to exercise certain powers of eminent domain to acquire by purchase or condemnation certain property of certain film production entities that cease film production activity in the State; requiring that certain proceedings be conducted in a certain manner; authorizing, under certain circumstances, that certain property may be taken immediately on payment for the property in a certain manner."

Although it does not specifically mention "House of Cards," the show receives a considerably-higher tax break than "Veep," which is also filmed in Maryland, according to The Washington Post.

Having passed, the amendment now heads to a panel of House and Senate negotiators to iron out differences in the state's $39 billion budget before the April 7 end of the legislative session. The conference committee would then need to accept the change for it to remain in the budget.

"Frank would not respond by just cutting them a larger check," Frick told WBAL. "That's not what Frank Underwood would do. So, to me, it required a little bit of hardball, and that was hardball."

In recent years, Maryland has spent in excess of $40 million to reward movie and television production companies that choose to film in the state, and more could be on the way. The state Senate has already approved language in the budget allotting the state $18.5 million to give out in tax credits, an increase from $7.5 million. The House hasn't acted on the measure.

"This just keeps getting bigger and bigger," Del. Eric G. Luedtke, a past proponent of film tax credits, told The Washington Post. "And my question is: When does it stop?"

Editor's Note: Seniors Scoop Up Unclaimed $20,500 Checks? (See if You qualify)

Related Stories:

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Rasmussen Poll: Labor Day End of Summer for Most Americans

Monday, 01 Sep 2014 13:52 PM

The majority of Americans say that Labor Day signifies the unofficial end of summer, not the day to recognize the contri . . .

Obama Promotes Surging Economy as Midterm Elections Near

Monday, 01 Sep 2014 13:46 PM

Boosted by recent economic gains, President Barack Obama is sounding more bullish about the nation's recovery from the G . . .

Sen. Mike Lee Pleads: Abolish Common Core

Monday, 01 Sep 2014 12:52 PM

Utah Sen. Mike Lee called on Americans to join him in the effort to abolish the federal Common Core education standards  . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved