As House of Cards threatens to leave Maryland over tax credits, the state is fighting back — or at least one delegate is. Del. C. William "Bill" Frick (D-Montgomery) proposed an amendment that would allow state officials to use eminent domain to seize the show's sets, equipment, and other assets if they take production elsewhere.
While the amendment doesn't specifically mention House of Cards, it says that the state's Department of Business and Economic Development, "under certain circumstances," can acquire "certain property of certain film production entities that cease film production activity in the State." Frick cites the threatening letter from the Media Rights Capital as the final straw for him leading up to his proposal. "I literally thought: What is an appropriate Frank Underwood response to a threat like this?" Frick told The Washington Post. "Eminent domain really struck me as the most dramatic response."
"I literally thought: What is an appropriate Frank Underwood response to a threat like this?"
This isn't the first time Maryland has tried to keep a big name in the state: in 1984, eminent domain was also used to try to stop the Baltimore Colts football team from relocating to Indianapolis. The team responded by picking up their things and leaving during the night.
But even while the House of Delegates approved Frick's budget amendment, the state senate and governor would have to approve in order to make it law. Recently senators voted to increase the amount of available tax credits for production companies to $18.5 million for the next year, so it's unlikely that the state would go through with Frick's suggestion. The House still has to approve those tax credit increases before they can go into effect, and until then, House of Cards Season 3 production is still being delayed.