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Maryland House of Delegates threatens to seize 'House of Cards' property if show leaves

Friday - 3/28/2014, 10:32am  ET

House of Cards (AP)
One Maryland delegate found himself asking, 'What would Frank Underwood do?' (AP)

WASHINGTON -- "What would Frank Underwood do?"

That's what one Maryland delegate asked himself when it came to dealing with "House of Card's" production company.

Media Rights Capital has said it would leave the Old Line State if it didn't get millions of dollars more in tax credits from Maryland. On Thursday, members of the Maryland House of Delegates threatened that if the show left the state, officials might use eminent domain to seize the show's property, according to The Washington Post.

The show, which stars Kevin Spacey as a cut-throat politician who will kill to get to the top, is set in D.C., but much of it is filmed in Maryland.

Del. C William Frick, D-Montgomery County, proposed the threat, which was quickly approved.

"I literally thought: What is an appropriate Frank Underwood response to a threat like this?" Frick told The Post. "Eminent domain really struck me as the most dramatic response."

The Maryland Senate would have to agree to the move and Gov. Martin O'Malley would also have to approve it.

In an effort to keep the Emmy-winning show filming in Maryland, the state Senate voted to increase the tax credit for production companies from $7.5 million to $18 million.

The amendment approved by the Maryland House of Delegates says that the Department of Business and Economic Development can "exercise certain powers of eminent domain" to acquire the property of a film production company that has claimed more than $10 million in tax credits and then ceases filming in the state, The Post reports.

The acquisitions could include sets, equipment and other property.

Although the show is already receiving million of dollars in tax credits, it is also beneficial to Maryland by employing residents, impacting businesses, drawing attention to the state and boosting the economy.

On the House floor, Frick says while people love the show, the production company's threats about leaving "went a little far."

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