Ehrlich hits O'Malley on dwindling Md. film industry
Former 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."
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