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Texas Senator Proposes Game Tax 162

Posted by Zonk
from the popular-idea-i'm-sure dept.
Via 1up, an article at the Brownsville Herald detailing a proposed tax on videogames. From the article: "The McAllen Democrat said on Wednesday he plans to propose a 5 percent tax on videogames when he and other members of the Senate Finance Committee meet this weekend to discuss a series of tax bills. It would raise about $65 million every two years and be designated for new schools and building upgrades at poor school districts, he said. 'You have all these kids buying videogames, and sometimes they are good, some are bad and that's not my call,' Hinojosa said. 'But I think that we can generate (money) to put toward the schools they go to.'"
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Texas Senator Proposes Game Tax

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  • In other news (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 27, 2006 @06:33PM (#15216568)
    Texas gamers propose switching to mail-order, never buying video games from a brick and mortar store again
  • Rings a bell (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 27, 2006 @06:36PM (#15216592)

    You have all these kids buying videogames

    Kids being taxed? Have kids been granted the right to vote when I wasn't looking? I seem to recall Americans having a bit of a problem with taxation without representation.

    Can somebody explain to me why kids aren't allowed to vote? Sure, they can be easily swayed by dumb slogans, but hey, if that was the reason for not letting people have the vote, hardly anybody would have it.

  • by ameoba (173803) on Thursday April 27, 2006 @06:38PM (#15216607)
    I just love how our legislators feel that video games need to be treated differently than movies, books, music or any other form of entertainment. Any argument that can be made for taxing games is going to be equally valid to any other entertainment medium.
  • by Yahweh Doesn't Exist (906833) on Thursday April 27, 2006 @06:38PM (#15216611)
    and how many millions will it cost to propose, consider, publish, and implement?
  • Well... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by GundamFan (848341) on Thursday April 27, 2006 @06:40PM (#15216622)
    On one hand more money for poor schools is a good thing.

    On the other video games are a luxury item and many other luxury items are taxed.

    I'm fine with this and I don't think it is incramentalism, after all they are taxing all games not just the "bad" ones.
  • by Toby The Economist (811138) on Thursday April 27, 2006 @06:40PM (#15216624)
    There are ways to tax and there are ways to tax.

    Most are highly inequitious - such as this tax.

    Why should people buying software be paying for schools?

    Is there some link here? of course not.

    There are well-known principles of general taxation which are equitious and minimize the discouragement caused by taxation to industry. These need to be followed at all times.

    ANYONE suggesting tax should be done otherwise is a complete idiot with regard to economics and should be kept WELL away from any such decisions.

    Would you have a politician making design decisions for particle accelerators? of course not - you know full well that simply being a politician doesn't make you a physicist.

    In EXACTLY the same way, being a politician does not make you an economist - and if politicians are then making economic decisions, their decisions will lead to an economy in the exact same state as the particle accelerator they would otherwise have built.

    Tax is too complicated and too closely related to freedom to be used to implement political policy.
  • Re:Well... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ADRA (37398) on Thursday April 27, 2006 @06:47PM (#15216670)
    Why not just tax DVD movies? They'll probably raise a hell of a lot more money. What do you mean the taxation isn't representative of the audience? Well, so are video games, you insensative clods! If you're taxing video games then tax any and all forms of entertainment. Their hypocracy (Tax everything I don't buy) is disappointing.
  • by no_pets (881013) on Thursday April 27, 2006 @06:57PM (#15216724)
    Instead of taxing games to pay for schools, how about the schools just sell games instead of candybars, magazines, coupon books, etc. It's mainly the kids' families that buy that stuff anyway.

    BTW, I say we should tax campaign contributions.
  • by RedWizzard (192002) on Thursday April 27, 2006 @07:31PM (#15217001)
    I just love how our legislators feel that video games need to be treated differently than movies, books, music or any other form of entertainment. Any argument that can be made for taxing games is going to be equally valid to any other entertainment medium.
    The difference, at least for movies and music, is the power of the industry lobby groups. You think the RIAA or MPAA would stand for senators proposing taxes on movies or music? No chance. But the video game industry doesn't have so much power. That's why sex and violence in video games is getting so much attention while the same thing in Hollywood or on TV is blithely ignored.
  • by Tetris Ling (836450) on Thursday April 27, 2006 @07:57PM (#15217180)

    Disclaimer: I am a Texan Democrat who had a government teacher who loved to rant about Texas politics. For this, I apologize.

    OK, it isn't really as simple as a Democrat/Republican thing. Texas tax politics are an icky morass from whence the few who enter seldom return. First of all, because almost all of the state's revenue comes from sales taxes (like this one), the state budget is incredibly sensitive to flucuations in the economy. This problem would be abated if Texas lowered sales taxes and implemented a income tax or state property tax. Even if you aren't from Texas, you should be able to guess that the chances of this are low.

    Now, the main way the state government saves money in a crunch is by shifting costs from the state to local level. Hence, most schools in Texas are funded by local property taxes. This is fine for richer neighborhoods (like the one I grew up in), but does nothing to help poorer parts of the state.

    What is really needed is a complete overhaul of the tax system. Even if there was the political will to do this, it would be a huge, painful process that would be difficult to design correctly and even more difficult to sell to the public.

    Now, I think this is a stupid piece of legislation, and I don't think it's going to pass, and even if it passes, I don't imagine it will do much at all for Texas schools. But let's not be so quick to accuse Republicians, conservatives, Democrats, or even Texans for not caring about education. This is a very difficult problem that is difficult to fix.

  • YMBFJ (Score:3, Insightful)

    by metamatic (202216) on Thursday April 27, 2006 @08:45PM (#15217575) Homepage Journal
    I seem to recall Americans having a bit of a problem with taxation without representation.

    Your recollection needs updating to include the time period after the American Civil War. There are hundreds of thousands of people in the USA who have to pay tax, but aren't allowed to vote, and it has been that way for many years.

  • Re:In other news (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MBraynard (653724) on Friday April 28, 2006 @01:14AM (#15218813) Journal
    He's a Democrat in a heavily Republican legislature and state. His ideas for taxation carry as much weight as John Kerry's ideas on Iraq. Nilch.

    Leave it to Zonk to get the slashherd spooked for nothing.

    Nothing to see here. Move along. Go back to your tentacle pr0n and doughnuts.p

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