Report: Maryland Subsidizing Hollywood with Massive Tax Credits

Report: Maryland Subsidizing Hollywood with Massive Tax Credits

Viewers love the Netflix series “House of Cards,” about a scheming politician clawing his way to the top in corrupt Washington, DC. But taxpayers in Maryland might not enjoy the show quite as much when they realize they’re footing part of the bill for producing it. 

A draft report prepared for the Maryland legislature finds the state has ponied up some $62.5 million in tax credits to encourage Hollywood to make shows in the state. But the return on investment is tiny. 

“For every $1 in film tax credit awarded, local governments receive four cents in tax revenue from the associated economic activity. Thus the film production credit produces an estimated 10 cents in total State and local taxes for each dollar of credit granted to film productions,” the report reads. “While the credit may produce economic benefits that accrue to certain businesses and individuals, the credit does not pay for itself.” 

The report adds that, as soon as shooting ends, any economic benefits do as well. Film production doesn’t seem to produce any permanent jobs in Maryland.

The state’s tax credit runs through 2016. The report recommends against extending it.