Kevin Spacey talks tax credit with lawmakers
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJLA) - Why is media scrum staking out this Annapolis wine bar? They’re staking out actor Kevin Spacey, who plays the scheming Frank Underwood in the political drama, “House of Cards.”
On Friday, he met privately with Maryland lawmakers.
"I want to make sure he stays in Maryland," said Del. John Donoghue of Hagerstown. "Everyone in the world is watching that show, and if it's filmed in Baltimore and Annapolis, that is great for Maryland."
Supporters say the show has created 6,000 jobs in Maryland with an economic impact of $250 million.
"I think we should help them all we can, because the more we help them, the more money they spend in Maryland," said State Senator Nancy Jacobs of Harford County.
Inside, Spacey did pose for pictures, but did not greet fans outside.
Just days ago, the Maryland Senate approved an $18.5 million tax credit spending bill – a way to reward show business for working in the area.
But critics say the show’s producers played hardball, essentially telling lawmakers to make a deal they like, or they would leave.
"It's definitely a tricky situation," said Eastern Shore Del. Jeannie Haddaway.
"It certainly sounds a little bit aggressive, but sometimes, that's how business is accomplished," said Hagerstown resident Tara Sargent.
The tax credit during the show’s first season was $11 million, and during the second season, $15 million. Now, members of the House are hoping for some wiggle room.
"The House will be taking it up soon, and we hope maybe we'll find an agreement in between," said Del. Haddaway.