Maryland makes 'House of Cards' threat

Maryland lawmakers threaten to seize the property of 'House of Cards' if the show leaves the state.
By Gabrielle Levy  |  March 28, 2014 at 6:21 PM
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ANNAPOLIS, Md., March 28 (UPI) -- Members of the Maryland House of Delegates aren't thrilled with producers of the hit Netflix series House of Cards, who say they plan to leave the state if they don't get millions in tax credits for filming there.

In a move that would make Frank Underwood proud, delegates approved a measure Thursday afternoon that threatens to seize, purchase or condemn the show's sets, equipment and other property through eminent domain.

“I literally thought: What is an appropriate Frank Underwood response to a threat like this?” said Del. C. William Frick, D-Montgomery, who proposed the measure. "Eminent domain really struck me as the most dramatic response."

Frick's "friendly amendment" to the budget was approved with little debate and without a roll-call vote, but the state's lawmakers are hoping it never comes to pass. It would have to get the approval of the Maryland Senate, which last week voted 45 to 1 to increase the amount of available tax credits to $18.5 million.

“It’s a terrific show. I love it. You probably love it,” Frick said, saying a January complaint from Media Rights Capital "went too far" and expressing his hope that the show's producers would be appeased by the increase in available credits.

While the measure doesn't directly mention House of Cards, Underwood himself, Kevin Spacey, was in Annapolis to whip the votes for the tax credit at an event with lawmakers.

While the show has already received -- or is on track to receive -- $26.6 million in tax credits for the first two seasons, producers have delayed the start of filming Season 3 until they get the cash they want.

[Washington Post]

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