Another year, another silly bill that'll probably end with taxpayers having to pay an overzealous state's legal bills
. Wisconsin Senator Jon Erpenbach is proposing a bill
that will raise a child's age to be considered an adult in the state's criminal court from 17 to 18, but the way he wants to pay for "driving up costs [in] counties that administer court procedures" is by placing a 1% tax on video games and video game consoles.
The Entertainment Software Association obviously went straight to the battle chest with an eye-roll and a sigh. Joystiq received comment from ESA prez. Mike Gallagher (full statement after the break) where he says, "[The bill] unfairly burdens all Wisconsin consumers by imposing a double tax on video games and game consoles ... there is no public policy support for the bill: The fact is that national juvenile crime has decreased
as video games have soared in popularity." If the Wisconsin legislators don't shoot this bill down, the judges will probably do it for them later -- Wisconsin taxpayers should prepare to foot the legal bills soon after.
ESA full statement:
"This bill will stunt an industry that is growing in Wisconsin at over 11% per year and contributes more than $23 million to the state economy. It negatively impacts the hundreds of Wisconsin citizens whose jobs and families depend on the computer and video game industry. And, it unfairly burdens all Wisconsin consumers by imposing a double tax on video games and game consoles. Not only is it unconstitutional to discriminatorily target video games with a punitive tax, there is no public policy support for the bill: The fact is that national juvenile crime has decreased as video games have soared in popularity."
-- Michael D. Gallagher, president of the entertainment software association.