Maryland’s Frank Underwood?

Maryland Congressman Steny Hoyer

Members of the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee heard testimony Wednesday from officials who favor increasing a tax credit Maryland uses to lure television and film producers to the state.

Harford County Executive David R. Craig was among those who testified because the Netflix series “House of Cards” is filmed primarily on a sound stage in Edgewood. The show has also filmed on location in Havre de Grace and Baltimore.

The series, which debuted this month, follows the often ruthless political maneuvers of fictitious U.S. House of Representatives Majority Whip Frank Underwood, a South Carolina Democrat played by Kevin Spacey.

But Craig described Spacey’s character in a way that made many burst into laughter.

“Basically, Kevin Spacey is … Steny Hoyer,” Craig said, referring to the Maryland congressman who is the House minority whip.

Howard County Executive Kenneth S. Ulman — whose jurisdiction is home to much of the filming for HBO White House comedy “Veep” — said he was tempted to make a reference to Hoyer, too, but resisted.

“You have to watch the show and then see what you really think,” he said.

The comparisons may not be too far afield: Spacey said in January that he met with Hoyer to prepare for the role.

It’s almost a foregone conclusion that the General Assembly will increase the amount of the tax credit. SB 183 would extend the life of the giveaway and increase the annual amount to $25 million. Gov. Martin O’Malley accounted for the increase in his fiscal year 2014 budget proposal.

The second season of “House of Cards” is expected to begin filming in April.

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