Less Than a Full Deck

Maryland might be stacking the deck against the popular Netflix series, House of Cards. The series, which has been filmed in the state nearest to our nation’s capitol since its birth, has enjoyed quite a few tax breaks. In fact, Maryland issues more than $27 million in show business tax credits. The show occasionally uses the state’s General Assembly floor as its filming set time to time.

This past Monday, though, the state legislature decided to only provide $15 million in tax credits, more than three million less than what was requested by the show’s producer. Perhaps the drama seems much like what might occur on the show. However, it’s a reality that the loss may be a real kicker. Kicking the show out of the Old Line State could be an economic dagger as the program has brought in over $200 million in revenue.

Tax benefits are offered by many states as a sort of bait to lure production companies. These incentives started coming up more and more in the early 1990s after other countries began the tradition. Largely, proponents point to the increase in economic revenue and exposure, not to mention job creation. However, some argue the revenue is mostly directed to an out-of-state audience. I mean, Maryland doesn’t have a huge production crew; these folks are from the west coast, mind you.




House of Cards is filmed in Maryland, for now. 

But I think Maryland might be a tad bit greedy. I mean what’s an extra three million dollars? Maryland could make this up by building another casino. Oh wait, they’re already doing that.

There is so much to take into account when it comes to these credits. These credits have to be handled correctly. In 2009, Iowa suspended new incentives pending a criminal investigation into how credits were distributed.

It’s too early to tell if House of Cards will leave Maryland after the legislature’s announcement this week. If things do go south, the cast will only have to travel down Interstate 95 and they’ll land at a new site. Washington, D.C. Full of jokers.


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