Wednesday, April 2, 2014

After House of Cards production co. demanded more tax credits to keep filming in MD, pols made a threat of their own

Unamused by the threat made by House of Cards production company to Maryland politicians,
House of Delegates member C. William Frick (r) pulled a Frank Underwood (l) by orchestrating
a legislative threat of his own to MRC Senior Vice President in charge of over-reaching greed,
Charlie Goldstein.
In recent years Maryland has given away $40 million in tax incentives to production companies filming in the state, with the lion's share of that sum going to the Netflix hit House of Cards, already the recipient of $31 million in tax credits.
     Apparently that wasn't enough for the show's production company, MRC, as its senior Vice President, Charlie Goldstein, sent a letter to Maryland's governor Martin O'Malley, threatening to take his ball and go home if the state didn't pony up even more, :
We wanted you to be aware that while we had planned to begin filming in early spring, we have decided to push back the start date for filming until June to ensure there has been a positive outcome of the legislation. 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.
     This bald attempt at intimidation did not set well with Maryland House of Delegates member C. William Frick, who proposed "adopted budget language" by the delegates that gives the state the power to "seize the production company's property," if it stops filming in Maryland. According to The Washington Post, it was approved, without a debate or vote call.
     So there. Life imitates art once more, and somewhere Frank Underwood is smiling.

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