Md. business owners fear 'House of Cards' moving out

BALTIMORE, Md. (WUSA9) -- At National Lumber on Pulaski Highway in Baltimore, the return of filmmakers to Maryland two years ago marked a major turn for business.

"We added trucks and hired guys that we don't have to layoff during slow times," said Scott Gleiman who pointed to a new warehouse under construction to handled the new business.

Now Gleiman and at least 1,800 other vendors fear resistance by some legislators to continue provided a film tax credit in 2014 will reverse all the progress.

The producers of "House of Cards" on Netflix call on Gleiman to supply them with everything from plywood to custom moldings used to construct sets at shooting locations in Maryland, including inside a rented building in Harford County which has been converted to a Hollywood-style sound stage.

The economic impact has added to to at least $250 million in new economic activity over the past two years and 3,700 jobs in 2013, according to Maryland's Department of Economic Development.

But some legislators are balking at providing a tax credit for spending in the state. In "House of Cards" first two seasons producers received at least $25 million.

A letter from producers seeking assurances that the tax credits would continue or "House of Cards" will '...break down our stage, sets and offices and set up in another state" has angered some legislators. The production of season 3 of "House of Cards" in Maryland has been delayed while a bill winds its way through the General Assembly.

"It is absolutely not a waste of money," said Gleiman at National Lumber. "It is not ransom. The amount of money that is given to them is spent ten-fold in the state of Maryland."


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