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Maryland Legislators Debate Increasing 'House Of Cards' Filming Incentives

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"House of Cards" is a hit, but how much more money can Maryland give producers to keep them filming in the state?
Netflix
"House of Cards" is a hit, but how much more money can Maryland give producers to keep them filming in the state?

Despite threats from the producer of the hit series "House of Cards" that if they do not receive additional credits they'll leave and film the show somewhere else, Maryland lawmakers remain undecided on whether to increase tax credits to film companies in the state.

Gov. Martin O'Malley recently received a letter from the popular show's producers threatening to leave the state if they don't get the additional tax credits. They've even delayed filming the show's third season long enough to see what the General Assembly does this session.

While the attention and business "House of Cards" and other shows like "Veep" have brought Maryland is big, lawmakers are hesitant to increase the tax credits just a year after they more than tripled them, saying that they feel that they've given enough.

But one man who see things differently is Harford County Executive David Craig, who's also running for the Republican nomination for governor this year. He has a personal stake in the debate: the majority of the show was filmed in his county.

"When you hear the media say that it's filmed in Baltimore... 90 percent of it is filmed in Harford County," he says.

For Craig, it's not about what the show gets, but rather what the state — and his county — will get. "We didn't give them money. We just didn't take their money," he says.

Craig says that "House of Cards" has expanded his county's tax base by $150 million, which he feels more than makes up for any revenue lost from the credits.

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The Politics Hour - July 31, 2015

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