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Ehrlich hits O'Malley on dwindling Md. film industry

Aaron C. Davis

wire.jpgFormer Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. (R) on Wednesday blasted Gov. Martin O'Malley's decision to slash the state's film industry tax credit, which he said was partially responsible for bringing "The Wire," "Homicide," "Ladder 49" and other productions to Maryland during his tenure.

Ehrlich said that if returned to the governor's office, he would restore the annual credit from $1 million to $7 million. The credit is one of hundreds of areas in which O'Malley has cut the state budget during consecutive years of $1.9 billion shortfalls.

"Cutting this tax credit is no different than cutting jobs," Ehrlich said. "It's an expenditure that produces a huge return on a small investment."

A report last year said the film industry generated $158 million in economic impact in the state during Ehrlich's last year in office. Louisiana and several other states have recently won sought-after arrangements to host HBO and other series productions.


Rx from O'Malley campaign: "Every job is important and [the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development] has been reviewing productions on a project by project basis," says campaign spokesman Rick Abbruzzese in an e-mail. "We have $1 million in the fund now, but if the right production came along, I think DBED would find a way to make it work."

By Aaron C. Davis  |  June 23, 2010; 4:53 PM ET
Categories:  2010 Elections  
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Baltimore--the Hollywood of the East.

Posted by: physicsfl | June 23, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Why are we subsidizing private companies? If they like Baltimore as a locale, they will come.
Ehrlich is being inconsistent here on budget matters.

Posted by: krickey7 | June 23, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Hey Bobby, what did you do for Maryland's budget? Oh yeah, you ruined it and left if for Marty to fix----- but now you try and blame him for your poor management. And Bobby wants another turn at Gov Mansion

Posted by: Aimhigh2000 | June 23, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

So far Bob Ehrlich has proposed spending more on school construction (which was under-funded when he was governor) and giving away more tax credits to the entertainment industry, but at the same time he says he wants to cut sales and corporate income taxes.

When President Reagan proposed cutting taxes while increasing spending, his Republican rival called it "Voodoo Economics." The unbalanced budgets and 10.8% unemployment that followed proved his rival right.

- Steve Lebowitz, Annapolis

Posted by: justdafactsSteveLebowitz | June 24, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

jobs they have lost under the O'Malley reign. It is not just bringing tv series and movies here so much as the domino effect it has on our State and the people lives in, not only the film industry, but so many others.
It is not a well known fact that many other local businesses suffered since the reduction of the tax credit. Lumber yards, local security agencies, florists, hotels, car rentals, construction companies, local area shops and the list goes on and on.
Many people have not recovered from the loss to this day and many have left our state to find jobs elsewhere.
We were once one of the first States the film industry looked to- but now they are gone from Maryland and have left a large ripple effect.
This is a no-brainer so why has O'Malley let this industry go down the tubes?
You have to wonder if the lights are on, but no one is home.

Posted by: JNR1 | June 24, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

He's taking credit for "Homicide"? Does Bobby Ehrlich claim to have a time machine?

Posted by: jongrantham | June 24, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Are you guys dumb? $158 mil back from 7 is a great deal. That's positive flow if I've ever heard of it. Don't be stupid.

Posted by: digtalcomp | June 26, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

So, Ehrlich is basically campaigning to INCREASE the budget deficit?

"Elect Bob Ehrlich, and tack an extra $6,000,000 onto the state budget deficit!"

Yeah, that will work!

Posted by: free-donny | June 27, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

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