The Hogan administration’s budget has proposed decreasing funding for the film incentive program by more than half, sending a message that the film industry is not an important industry to Maryland. This is a tremendous disappointment, not only to the thousands of trained professionals in the industry with careers in jeopardy, but also to the small businesses that rely on income from this industry on a daily basis. This program does not benefit the “Hollywood Fat Cats” but carpenters, caterers, lumber companies and thousands of others that receive their paychecks due to this unique industry. Due to our skilled base of workers, past history of film production and wide range of sites, Maryland is always looked upon nationally as a desired location. In the past year, over 20 production companies considered Maryland for their projects but looked elsewhere because of a lack of incentives. This budget reduction will guarantee that those opportunities for salaries and sales in Maryland are now lost.
The Maryland Film Industry Coalition has been working for years to support film production in the State and this budget proposal is a major blow to the industry. While we understand this year’s economic challenges, it is clear that the film industry took one of the the biggest cuts of the Department of Commerce’s incentive programs. We will continue to work against this to once again allow Maryland to be a premier film industry destination.