Pennsylvania Legislators Re-introduce Bill to Tax Mature-Rated Video Games

Megalith

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Despite dying by committee back in October, stubborn lawmakers in Pennsylvania have resuscitated House Bill No. 109, which aims to “impose a 10% tax on adult and mature-rated video games sold at retail in addition to any applicable state and local taxes.” Supporters such as Rep. Christopher B. Quinn have justified the bill by citing violent acts such as school shootings and research suggesting games increase aggressive behaviors in individuals. The Entertainment Software Association has called the proposal “a violation of the U.S. Constitution.”

The 10 percent tax would be in addition to applicable state and local taxes. The sales tax rate in Pennsylvania is 6%, which means a standard $60 game costs around $64. With the extra 10 percent tax on violent games, the cost of an M-rated game like Red Dead Redemption 2 would make the game end up costing about $70. Explaining the bill last year, Quinn said violent video games might be an element in the rise of school shootings in America. "One factor that may be contributing to the rise in, and intensity of, school violence is the material kids see, and act out, in video games," he said.
 

sfsuphysics

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Eh... one guy who's probably funded er... has political donations by some megachurch or something introduces a bill that was done before before the rest of state congress shot it down. Nothing really to get your panties in a twist over, it's bound to happen you have so many people in government someone is bounded to come up with an idea that to you sounds like the dumbest thing ever no need to get tied up about it. Now if it was something that passed through legislation and went on to voters... yeah that shit makes you go Bill Burr levels of angry.
 

TonyZ

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Money grab pure and simple, extra taxation does not fix anything FFS. M rated games cant be bought in stores by under age kids if the retailers are following the rules and if they do get into kids hands its because parents buy them for their kids, not much you can do about that, same as parents taking kids to rated R movies.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Ugh, not this again.

I'd support legislation to actually enforce content based videogame age guidelines, but government should not be using taxation to pick winners and losers in the marketplace, unless they can prove that thosethey want to tax harm society and those they want to incentives help it.

Time and time again it has been proven that violent video games are a perfectly safe release for healthy people of an appropriate age to play them.

This shit needs to end
 

copy_run_start

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Time and time again it has been proven that violent video games are a perfectly safe release for healthy people of an appropriate age to play them.

I was with you up until that point. What about that kid in Utah who played Red Dead Redemption 2 and the went into his school on horseback with a repeater rifle shooting any injun he saw? And when the cops came, he glitched into a wall and was insta-killed.
 

STEM

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Politicians are the worse parasites that we have to deal with in the 21st century. Not one of theme wants ever to deal with a real issue. All they want to do is sit around and introduce new legislation where there isn't a need for it and come up with new taxes.

Hey, Pensylvania politicians, how about some clean drinkable water for those poor people who have to drink all that poison that results from fracking?!
 

Evil Timmy

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This is grandstanding, plain and simple. No way this would hold up to any kind of First Amendment scrutiny, especially adding a tax based on a wholly independent and private third party's largely arbitrary (and voluntary) labeling. I don't think I need to rehash the "videogames are now everywhere while violent crime continues to trend down" argument to this audience, because I suspect everyone here knows that moral panics have caused far more damage than the evils they sought to prevent.
 

darckhart

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boy they should tax other "mature rated" activities too then: drinking, smoking, going to the club, watching cop drama murder mystery tv shows, etc. morons.
 

Mode13

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Would be funny if it resulted in a large enough % increase in piracy to negate the new tax through losses of regular sales tax. Now that would be a laugh.
 

The Mad Atheist

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The government is always looking at other ways to reach into your wallet.
You forgot to attach this. ;)
im_from_the_government_im_here_to_h.jpg
 

Jagger100

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Politicians cause shootings.
Being lavished in attention as we stop the news cycle for 24 hr coverage of the shooter/shooting is what causes school shootings. And the news media knows it.
 
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Spidey329

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might be / maybe

I'm convinced! That's that solid evidence right there. Ya know, I usually like my research-based evidence to cite a hypothesis, statistical probability of occurrence, and correlation, but shit, that's some solid reasoning right there.

Oh, yeah, those words are used because they glossed over the research to make assumptions without backing. Aggressive behavior != Massacring people.
 

OutOfPhase

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So it's so bad the government wants to make more profit off it it?

What horsepucky.
 
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Again, welcome to the state of taxylvania. It's turning into a mini California here. Anyway, if you'll excuse me, I need to find out who the hell to bitch out and write a letter now.
 

kirbyrj

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They introduce their tax things every year around this time in PA. Another legislator wants to tax cigars so bad that it comes up every year also. Never goes anywhere.
 
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Well.. There I wrote my representative. I (as a life long gamer) also invited him to call me to debate the topic at any time.
 

Derangel

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Outside of the sheer stupidity of the reasons behind the lawsuit this shit will never pass for one big reason: It is illegal. You cannot impose a "sin tax" on a medium that is covered by the 1st amendment. Video games have 1st amendment protection and this law would get shot down in any court that actually paid attention to the law. This is just another case of politicians proposing something they know will never pass in order to look like they're "doing something" and as a way to ignore putting any actual time and effort into investigating real causes and proposing real solutions.
 

STEM

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Outside of the sheer stupidity of the reasons behind the lawsuit this shit will never pass for one big reason: It is illegal. You cannot impose a "sin tax" on a medium that is covered by the 1st amendment. Video games have 1st amendment protection and this law would get shot down in any court that actually paid attention to the law. This is just another case of politicians proposing something they know will never pass in order to look like they're "doing something" and as a way to ignore putting any actual time and effort into investigating real causes and proposing real solutions.

Couldn't have said it better myself :)
 

N4CR

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I think no one would shed a tear if those corrupt legislators were eliminated in a shooting.
 

mullet

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The government will find a way to tax everything they can get away with.
 

nilepez

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It's possible, but unless recent studies have flipped the script, the research shows they do not. I'm still in the early stages of RDR2, but honestly I don't see anything that bad in it.
 

snowcrash

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I checked his party affiliation. Not surprised. Both sides just want to tax their citizens to oblivion.
 

Megaslug

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Might as well tax food because it makes fat people.

Philadelphia already does, with a "soda tax" that really only affects the poor who can't easily shop outside the city limits.

This guy he's an idiot. Delaware County, yeah, that explains a lot. He's my age, but perhaps he led a sheltered life. He ought to remember when "video game" meant Pong and you had to tape a sheet of plastic to your tv screen, all the way up to today's rendered masterpieces. Maybe his mommy didn't let him play outside with other kids, playing 'violent' games like cops and robbers and cowboys and indians, pretending to shoot each other with toy guns.
 

Armenius

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I read that aggression study they're citing. If I remember correctly it showed that playing violent video games led to a temporary increase in aggression for up to 15 minutes after the subjects stopped playing the game. Nowhere in the study was it linked to the commission of violent acts.
 

nilepez

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I read that aggression study they're citing. If I remember correctly it showed that playing violent video games led to a temporary increase in aggression for up to 15 minutes after the subjects stopped playing the game. Nowhere in the study was it linked to the commission of violent acts.
Now this I can believe. I've never had that happen (probably because I don't play tons of shooters), but I recall playing racing games in arcades and I drove a lot more aggressively right after I left the arcade, but definitely temporary.
 

TheCommander

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We just need to give all our money to the government. They do know what is best for us. They can tell us what to eat, what to think, what to do, how to feel, etc.... It'd be great.
 
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