House of Cards, the popular Netflix political drama that is filmed in Maryland, is staying in Maryland after state lawmakers and production officials reached a multi-million dollar agreement over film tax credits.
Season 3 of the show will begin filming in Maryland sometime in the next few months after lawmakers and producers agreed to a total of $11.5 million in tax incentives between the 2014 Film Production Tax Credit program and an earmarked $7.5 million in grants included in the FY15 budget.
"Spoiler alert: we're going to keep the 3,700 jobs and more than $100 million of economic activity and investment that House of Cards generates right here in Maryland," Gov. Martin O'Malley said in a joint statement issued to the media Friday. "Media Rights Capital has been a great supporter of the people and entertainment community in Maryland and we couldn't be happier to continue our partnership."
The future of the show’s production was left uncertain after lawmakers failed in the waning hours of the most recent Legislative Session to agree on the $15 million sum to be allocated in tax credits for the show.
Producers requested more tax incentives from the state, which triggered weeks of debate in the State House over the future of the show. In a dramatic representation of life imitating art, Del. Bill Frick, of Montgomery County, proposed an amendment that would stipulate if any company receives $10 million or more from the state and pulls out of the deal, the state could declare imminent domain and seize the production company’s sets and equipment.
The Film Production Tax Credit was passed in 2011 and provided $26 million in total for the show’s first two seasons.
"House of Cards is the gift that keeps on giving, having injected hundreds of millions of dollars into the local economy, while also helping to provide thousands of jobs to our Maryland community," Asif Satchu, co-CEO of MRC said in the statement. "We are very grateful to both Governor O'Malley for his tireless efforts to help keep jobs in Maryland and the leadership of the General Assembly for their continued advocacy and support."
The producers of the show expect to begin production on Season 3 over the next several months, the release states.