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'House of Cards' Returns, Will Maryland Boost Film Credits?

Oscar-winner Kevin Spacey says he'll be back for a third season of "House of Cards," which uses Maryland's film tax credits. Season two will be on Netflix Feb. 14.

Oscar-winner Kevin Spacey chats with Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley on the set of "House of Cards." File|Patch
Oscar-winner Kevin Spacey chats with Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley on the set of "House of Cards." File|Patch

While “House of Cards” star and executive producer Kevin Spaceyhas confirmed that he will return when the Netflix series starts filming its third season in Baltimore, the state tax credits that helped lure the TV production are dwindling.

The online-only drama deals with political corruption in Washington. The cast and crew filmed season two in Annapolis in June, primarily at the Maryland State House, which was used as a makeshift U.S. Senate Chamber.

Season two is available starting Feb. 14 on Netflix.

“I am shooting a Season 3,” Spacey told The Baltimore Sun. “End of story. I’m very happy to be [coming back]. I’ve been loving being in Baltimore and having such a really nice time there.”

The show's first season had an economic impact estimated at $138 million, Maryland Film Office Director Jack Gerbes told the Sun. That amount included the hiring of 2,198 crew, actors and extras, plus purchasing goods and services from 1,814 Maryland businesses.

The series’ opening season filmed in Harford County last year. Recent legislation provided a key role in the return of the series in 2013, Gov. Martin O'Malley has said.

"The passage of legislation to enhance and extend the Film Production Activity Tax Credit in the recently completed session of the General Assembly secured the second season of House of Cards for Maryland," according to a statement from O'Malley's office last year.

The tax credit allows production companies to receive up to $25 million in tax credits for spending at least $500,000 in Maryland, according to the L.A. Business Journal.

The money set aside for film-industry tax rebates in next year’s budget is currently less than half of what it was last year, the Sun says. If it doesn’t increase during the legislative session, it could affect the return of the series, which is scheduled for June.  

The Emmy-winning HBO comedy VEEP is also filmed in Maryland, mostly in the Annapolis area. The show stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus, best known for her role as Towson native Elaine Benes on Seinfeld, as the vice president of the United States, Selina Meyer. 

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