As House of Cards enters its third season, the production company which produces the wildly popular Netflix original threatened to leave Maryland if it didn't receive more tax credits than it already has. The company quickly learned corporatism's double-edge sword when Maryland lawmakers proposed to use eminent domain to seize the property of the production company if it attempted to leave.
The Free State is no stranger to corporate welfare as Reason TV found out earlier this year when Baltimore funded a boondoggle to revive its waterfront with the help of $400 million in public subsidies.
Watch the Harbor Point and Baltimore's Taxpayer-Funded Edifice Complex above and read the original post below:
In Baltimore, a small, toxic spit of land that juts out into the Patapsco River is the latest battleground between the free market and government subsidies.
For 20 years, Harbor Point, a 27-acre site of an abandoned chromium factory, has been a dream in the eyes of developers. It's the last big unbuilt site on the city's waterfront and arguably the most sought-after real estate in all of Maryland.
Yes, developers have lusted after the site, but they just didn't want to have pay the full cost of, well, developing it.
In a city as desperate for growth as Baltimore, they don't have to. Baltimore's political class has committed $400 million in public subsidies to a controversial plan that supporters claim will generate 6,000 jobs and build a complex of skyscrapers, residences, and public parks that will forever transform the character of the city.
City officials believe the $1.8 billion-dollar project will spark an economic turnaround. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake considers Harbor Point a "once-in-a-generation opportunity" to reverse the half-century-long exodus of residents and businesses that have hollowed out Baltimore. Rawlings-Blake and developer Michael Beatty have campaigned relentlessly for the plan, offering promises of urban renewal and jobs in a city with 10.3 percent unemployment.