Maryland production industry fights to keep filming incentive after criticism
Production professionals in Maryland are fighting to keep the state filming incentive following a report questioning the local benefits of the tax credit. Netflix political drama House of Cards is based in Baltimore but faced a struggle to keep the show when the film fund was reduced.
The report claims there is too much uncertainty over how much money is needed from year to year to both appeal to producers and benefit the state. Given that the majority of US states offering filming incentives, the report found that the system “promotes unhealthy competition”.
Maryland’s Division of Tourism, Film and the Arts has said that the report does not take into account the local benefits of ancillary production spending like hotel room nights, set building and car rentals, according to Associated Press.
Maryland’s filming incentive programme has proven intensely controversial in recent months. The film fund for the 2014/15 financial year dropped sharply from the previous year and location filming for House of Cards was postponed while the producers called for stronger support than they were initially offered.
North Carolina has had a similar backlash to its own filming incentive and the tax credit’s opponents have secured a downgrade to the programme. The state hosted the first Hunger Games movie and Iron Man 3, but from 2015 there will be just USD 10 million a year for all productions, effectively taking it out of contention for big-budget shoots.
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