Proposed bill would allow Md. to seize Netflix property if 'House of Cards' leaves state
ANNAPOLIS, MD. (WJLA) - Boasting story lines rife with political posturing and razor-sharp elbows, "House of Cards" is now mired in a case of life imitating art, after threatening to pack up and leave Maryland unless it gets another $15 million in tax breaks.
Maryland, though, is fighting back.
"We've given them $27 million for the first two seasons, so it felt like a little strong of a response on their end," Del. Bill Frick (D-Montgomery Co.) - a confessed binge-watcher of the show himself - told ABC7 Friday.
"I literally thought, how would [Kevin Spacey's character] Frank Underwood respond to a threat like this?
Well, Frick's creative channeling of Underwood crafted a bill that, if "House of Cards" leaves - or any show getting more than $10 million in tax breaks, for that matter - the state could claim eminent domain over its property, sets, studio and more.
Taxpayers say it's a source of pride, having Space, who tried to smooth over matters with Maryland lawmakers over some wine in Annapolis last week, stay locally - but only if the balance sheet works in Maryland's favor.
"You kind of weigh the revenue they bring into the state to the tax breaks that they are getting for coming to the state," theorized Maryland resident Cleveland Horton on Friday.
Annapolis resident Teresa Bernhard agreed.
"That's just the bottom line, and if we make more, then stay. Then, it's an investment," she said.
And if the jobs and tourism don't pour in? Then, lawmakers say, that house of cards could come tumbling down.
"It's like, Frank Underwood can play hardball? Well, so can the House of Delegates," said Del. Sam Arora (D-Montgomery Co.).