America may have to wait to see more of Frank Underwood, since the Emmy-nominated Netflix series House of Cards is delaying shooting of Season 3 until the middle of June, while producers wait to hear the outcome of two different bills in the Maryland Legislator. The two bills would continue to extend profitable tax breaks for the show, set in Washington D.C., which aired Season 2 on Valentine’s Day weekend.
The political series is produced by Media Rights Capital, based out of Beverly Hills Calif., and in the beginning had planned to start production earlier this spring. They earned more than $11 million in Maryland tax credits for Season 1 and it is projected that Season 2’s incentives could reach more than $15 million.
According to Deadline.com, “We hear that MRC is seeking a tax credit for Season 3 in line with Season 2′s $15 million, which is impossible as of now, as Maryland’s current cap is $7.5 million. The two bills, which are languishing in committee, would raise the ceiling to $11 million or $18.5 million.”
Media Rights Capital wrote to Gov. Martin O’Mailey, saying that it was postponing work on the show until the tax credits would be confirmed.
Deadline.com wrote, “According to the Maryland Film Office, the 130 days of production on Season 1 and Season 2 of House Of Cards helped contribute to film and TV’s estimated $197.2 million in economic impact in fiscal year 2013. Season 1 ‘resulted in the local hiring of 2,193 Maryland crew, cast and extras, and the production purchased or rented goods or services from 1,814 Maryland vendors,’ the office says on its website. Maryland also hosts the production of HBO’s White House comedy Veep.”
Regardless of the outcome, the debate has caused many Marylanders to roll their eyes. In a recent article by The Frederick News-Post, they write “Goodness knows, Delegate Kathy Afzali thought she was being clever when she named her amendment to shoot down a tax credit that has benefited the Netflix series House of Cards, ‘The Repeal of the Kevin Spacey-Robin Wright Retire in Style Fund.’ The jab, aimed at the lead actors of the hugely successful show, was pretty cringe-inducing from a former Broadway dancer, even though we concede the point she attempted to make – that it’s equally distasteful that the show has threatened to move out of Maryland unless the production gets additional credits.”
Whether or not there will be a reasonable resolve, only time will tell.
Update: Maryland state officials and Media Rights Capital had reached a tax break agreement – while not $15 million they asked for, House of Cards will be getting $11.5 million from the state in 2014.
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