Tax credit for Maryland film production rises to $25 million

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By Becca Heller

Veep _1Sheet_v3.inddAn emergency bill expanding existing tax credits for film and TV production from $7.5 million to $25 million passed in the House of Delegates Tuesday , 108 votes to 31. The bill, SB183, which passed passed the Senate unanimously and now heads to the governor’s desk, sparked debate on the House floor as several Republican delegates expressed staunch opposition to the initiative.

“This bill provides $25 million to companies who are located outside of the state so they can film in the state,” said Del. Mark Fisher, R-Calvert. “This is on top of the 2012 raising taxes on thousand-naires and what looks like raising gas taxes this year as well. Using taxpayer money — that’s 25 million dollars worth for folks who aren’t even located in Maryland.”

Delegates in support of the bill asserted that the increased tax credits would revive Maryland’s stalled film industry and generate revenue for businesses in the state, and cited past productions that successfully came out of the state. Recent productions filmed in Maryland include Kevin Spacey’s “House of Cards,” “VEEP” with Julia Louis-Dreyfus and “Game Change” with Julianne Moore.

CORRECTION: “There’s probably not many programs that have a demonstrated success rate like this one does,” said Del. Melony Griffith Veronica Turner, D-Prince George’s. “The question is not whether or not Maryland benefits from this bill, the question is do we want to compete with other parts of the country to win film to our state.”

Opponents expressed doubt that this bill would stimulate the economy as supporters of the bill suggest.

“We’re doing this to help the small businesses in the state, and yet, in plain print on the fiscal note, it says that it will have very little impact on the small businesses of the state,” said Del. Herb McMillan, R-Anne Arundel. “Note to self: check fiscal notes before beginning a debate.”

Ending the discussion following the vote, one opponent of the bill went so far as to jokingly suggest that the bill might be part of the governor’s plan to gain celebrity allies for a future presidential campaign.

“I’m thinking to myself: I’m confused. Who benefits from this? Who would need friends in California?” Del. Pat Mcdonough said, pausing as members of the body chuckled knowingly. “Who would need to make Michael Moore and George Clooney happy? Who would need an emergency bill to get them on his side as quickly as possible? I have no idea…but his first initial is M!”

About The Author

Len Lazarick

Len Lazarick was the founding editor and publisher of and is currently the president of its nonprofit corporation and chairman of its board He was formerly the State House bureau chief of the daily Baltimore Examiner from its start in April 2006 to its demise in February 2009. He was a copy editor on the national desk of the Washington Post for eight years before that, and has spent decades covering Maryland politics and government.


  1. abby_adams

    Delegate Turner’s remark summarizes the out of touch thinking so beloved by the Dems, who cares if the taxpayers underwrite film production in MD & get little benefit from that subsidy? We’ve gotta give them a bigger subsidy than the other guys, right? We’ve got the deep pockets of taxpayers to provide the $$ after declaring the need for raising revenue enhancements more than 25 times to meet critical budget “shortfalls”. The lure of “Hollywood” trumps the pleas & cries of overburdened MD taxpayers!

  2. Art Sand Letters

    Pat, it’s not tax reduction, it’s a tax loophole for rich Hollywood actors and production companies.

  3. terpsez108

    Employ more Progressives in positions doing nothing—the tax free endowments are bad enough–paying activists to insult and corrupt—and acting like they speak for large groups –when they are just a small angry retribution minded cult –with the support of corrupt weak political leaders hell bet on stealing what they can for themselves–meanwhile investors in the films get returns on their investments—we get to see the entire O’Malley family go to the Super Bowl on somebody’s dime

  4. Pat

    Amazing. Even in state legislatures Republicans are all for tax
    reductions until a Democrat said reductions. However, if a Republican
    proposes tax reductions they are all for them.

  5. Pat

    Amazing. Even in state legislatures Republicans are all for tax reductions until a Democrat said reductions. However, if a Republican proposes tax reductions they are all for them.

  6. Purplebari

    >The question is not whether or not Maryland benefits from this bill

    Doesn’t this quote from Delegate Veronica Turner speak for itself? I don’t know whether this tax credit is a net financial positive or not, but whether Maryland benefits from this bill should be the ONLY thing it is about. This is not some social justice issue – this is business.

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