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Senate approves hike in film tax credits

House of Cards had threatened to leave state without expanded credits

ANNAPOLIS — The Maryland Senate Friday gave preliminary approval to a bill that nearly triples the amount of state tax credits available to film and television production, such as the Netflix series “House of Cards.”

Senate Bill 1051, sponsored by Sen. Edward J. Kasemeyer, D-Howard and Baltimore County, increases the amount of tax credits from $7.5 million in fiscal 2014 to $18.5 million in the 2015 fiscal year.

State official said the increase was needed in order to prevent two productions — “Veep” and “House of Cards” — from moving their respective operations to other states.

The production company for “House of Cards” sent House Speaker Michael E. Busch a letter stating production of season three, scheduled for the spring, had been pushed back “until June to ensure that there has been a positive outcome of the legislation.”

The Department of Business and Economic Development reported that between fiscal 2012 and 2016, “House of Cards” tallied nearly $31 million in tax credits. “Veep” received nearly $23 million. Other productions amount to $1.5 million.

Those tax credits do not include the increased funding in the bill.

Kasemeyer said the state has realized $583 million in economic impact as a result of the film and television production tax credits.

The bill could come up for a final vote as early as Monday and then be sent to the House of Delegates.