Posted on December 26, 2007, Stephany Wisconsin Senator Proposes Extra Sales Tax on Video Games and Electronics
According to a recent news report seen on Madison, Wisconsin’s WISC-TV, proposed bill in Wisconsin would add an extra sales tax to electronics and video games. The bill’s author, state Sen. Jon Erpenbach, states that the money raised from such a tax isn’t to dissuade gamers, like the tax on cigarettes, but will help cover the cost to move 17-year-olds, who are currently treated as adults when convicted of non-violent crimes in Wisconsin, back into the juvenile system.
“No. 1, I think it’s the right thing to do because not all 17-year-olds belong in the adult system when it comes to non-violent offenses,” said Erpenbach. “But secondly, in the long run, the numbers show that if you treat certain situations in a juvenile delinquent-type of a setting, as opposed to an adult setting, chances are there’s going to be less of a problem when the kid gets older.”
While some people feel that this is a great idea, the main complaint is coming from gamers who draw attention to the part of the bill that would hit them the hardest – the proposed extra tax on video games. Senator Erpenbach was quick to point out though that he is open to suggestions:
“The idea being that this is kind of a kids-kids thing, in other words, if we’re going to do this for kids maybe this would be a good way to go about it. And if it’s not the best way, I’m open to any other way.”
One Wisconsin gamer who was interviewed for the news segment, Justin Sallows, said the tax doesn’t sit well with him.
“I think that’s a real problem. Even if that’s not what the intention is, it creates the impression that there’s something wrong with the video games because we need to put some extra tax on there to try to dissuade people from playing them. I just think it’s pretty unfair to attack gamers and have them pay for something they, more than likely, have nothing to do with,” said Sallows.
Although Senator Erpenbach has stated that he is unsure how much it would cost to move these non-violent 17 year-olds from and adult prison system, and he is also unsure just how much the proposed tax would actually generate – it is almost a given that the cost to move these delinquents could be huge . Consider this: State records indicate that approximately 30,000 17-year-olds are arrested each year and 98% are charged with minor offenses.
Thats right – 30,000 17 year-olds are arrested each year in Wisconsin. What are they putting in the water up there? While I commend them for trying to get teenagers out of adult prisons where they will just learn to “perfect their trade”, I can think of many other ways to generate the tax needed to move these kids into their own Skid Row. What about taxing alcohol? Government officials hardly ever raise taxes on alcohol. It is always tobacco. How many incidences of teenage delinquency have drunken overtones to them I wonder. I have never heard of a teenager smoking a bunch of Camels and deciding to spray paint a building or beat up a fat kid. However, I have known many a drunken 17 year-old who decided it would be cool to bash a car in with a bat or run naked down main street. If they want to tax something that relates to the youth of their state, alcohol is definitely something every teenager in America can relate to.
Via: Channel 3000