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'House of Cards' threatens to bail on Maryland unless it gets millions in tax credits

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House of Cards Season 2 (NETFLIX)
House of Cards Season 2 (NETFLIX)

The producers behind House of Cards are channeling Frank Underwood's ruthless side in negotiations with the state of Maryland. According to The Washington Post, production company Media Rights Capital has threatened to "break down our stage, sets and offices and set up in another state" if it's not granted millions of dollars in tax credits. Netflix's popular series has already taken in a large portion of the $40 million Maryland has distributed to keep movies and TV shows filming in the state. (Governor Martin O’Malley even visited the set back in May.) But some lawmakers are growing tired of the expense.

Maryland reimbursed Media Rights Capital $11 million for season one of House of Cards; season two saw the state up that figure to $15 million. But officials haven't yet increased Maryland's annual TV and film tax credits enough to keep the money flowing for season three. That's likely to happen at some point, but what's not clear is whether the new number will be enough to keep House of Cards in Maryland. In a letter to O'Malley, Media Rights Capital's Charlie Goldstein said, "I am sure you can understand that we would not be responsible financiers and a successful production company if we did not have viable options available."

Production of season three has already been pushed back slightly to give lawmakers time to reach a satisfactory deal. And Maryland has good reason to keep House of Cards within state lines. The show has thus far generated 6,000 local jobs and aided Maryland's economy to the tune of $250 million, the Post says.