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

      by MBraynard (653724)
      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

    • Exactly. One other question...does Texas have a sales tax? If not, then its not so horrible. We Californians pay seven and a quarter sales tax. I would be pissed if they stacked another tax on top of that.
  • Always gotta come after the little man, huh? How about a 5% tax on high end multi-GPU 512MB DDR3 KO-edition video cards instead?
    • I never realized just how insane the American tax system is. I mean, taxation systems are usually deranged even at the best of times, but damn, Americans seem to get the very worst taxation out there. Most countries, when they want money for schools, just raise the sales tax or the income tax (depending on how the current administration feels about what the least harmful way of taxing people is). Taxes for particular goods or services are typically reserved for things that exact heavy costs on the nation
      • Taxation in the US is often used as a deterrent; like alcohol or cigarettes, but also things that the government would prefer conserved, such as gasoline. I think that motion to tax video games is proposing that they should be placed in the former category, hence the sort of sideways "You have all these kids buying video games, and sometimes they are good, some are bad and that's not my call".
        • Yeah, but a deterrent to buying videogames? Why not a tax on rap CDs, or slasher films? Hell, why not a tax on fatty foods or Republican/Democratic party campaign materials? All presumably encourage bad behaviour -- violence and rudeness to ho's, serial murder, obesity, and voting for corrupt shitty leaders, respectively. Videogames are innocuous compared to any of the previous. This kind of thing has to be saved for the most extreme problems, because it has a detrimental effect on the economy. Taxing
      • I never realized just how insane the American tax system is. I mean, taxation systems are usually deranged even at the best of times, but damn, Americans seem to get the very worst taxation out there.

        There's good and bad. Remember that we're talking about a state taxation issue here. It's easy to find really good examples of sensible taxation in the U.S., such as (nationally) the Pittman-Robertson Act that taxes sporting goods to pay for conservation. In the U.S., it really is the case that hunters pa

  • by HaloZero (610207) <protodeka&gmail,com> on Thursday April 27, 2006 @06:34PM (#15216579) Homepage
    'Stop playing that game and finish your homework!' 'Wait! Dad! I'm... uh... helping... fund... the school! YEAH!' 'So that's what that new tax is. [laugh] Alright, kid. Go for it.'
  • from the wtf dept (Score:1, Flamebait)

    by MoFoQ (584566)
    wtf.....why not a tax on stupid proposals and on stupid politicians.

    you know...if these politicians took a 5% pay-cut (or just forgo a raise for a year), I'm sure they can collect the funds to help the schools....or tax the Texan oil companies that are forcing families to choose between school supplies, gas, and food.

    heck...if Chenney would donate some of his return, damn...that's alot of money for a po' person like me and old Oprah.
    • Re:from the wtf dept (Score:5, Informative)

      by Guppy06 (410832) on Thursday April 27, 2006 @08:07PM (#15217278)
      "you know...if these politicians took a 5% pay-cut"

      There are 181 members of the Texas Legislature (31 Senators and 150 Representatives). Each one earns $7,200 a year (really! [utexas.edu]) , your 5% pay cut idea would save the state $65,160.

      In 2005, the amount of money the Texas Legislature appropriated for general education was $13 Billion. So you'd be increasing that by 0.000005%

      Nice try, thanks for playing.

      "(or just forgo a raise for a year)"

      This is a state proposal, not federal. The Texas Legislature cannot raise its own salary ("cost of living" or otherwise) without the matter first being put before the voters (which is why they're stuck at $7,200 to begin with).

      "if Chenney would donate some of his return"

      1. He's from Wyoming, not Texas, otherwise Texas couldn't vote for the Bush/Cheney ticket.
      2. He owed the IRS money, to the tune of over $500,000
      3. Even if he donated every cent he made in 2005 (around $2 million), you'd still be increasing educational spending in Texas by 0.00015%.


      "that's alot of money for a po' person like me and old Oprah"

      But a drop in the bucket in the budget for one of the most economically vibrant states in the Union.
      • wow...were things that cheap in Texas?
        Hmm...but according to the paper, Ken Lay's condo in Houston cost him 4mill (and cost the American ppl billions).

        ANYWAYS...what about OTHER politicians?
        You know, city officials, mayors, Senators and Reps....
        And why apply the 5% to their "official" pay? Why not apply it to their kickbacks^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hcontributions?

        As for Cheney, yea...I know he's not from Texas...but he SURELY does business in Texas. Actually, he did donate 6.87mill to charity...why not a few schoo
      • He's from Wyoming, not Texas, otherwise Texas couldn't vote for the Bush/Cheney ticket.

        How many people these days know that piece of constitutional trivia? Nice!
    • A better idea is to have a 5% tax on sponsoring all interactions with publicly elected officials. Took a congressman to dinner -- pay 5% of the price of the dinner to umm... help schools. Taxing an activity is a way to supress it... so why not supress bribery... I mean lobbying, of course.
    • You know, texan oil companies don't pay taxes, they push all thier taxes off onto the consumer. This is basic business, they all do that. This is why liberal taxing schemes usualy result in inflation. So if you taxed the texan oil companies, you would most likley be paying more for gas and chosing it over even less food and school supplies.

      Now what is going on is the exact same model the cigarette tax made. When a state wants to take money from the people and get re-elected, they now can comfortably do it
      • "You know, texan oil companies don't pay taxes, they push all thier taxes off onto the consumer."

        Ah, but most of those consumers live outside of Texas, so it's still a net gain.
        • Your missing the point, All it will do is make the products cost more. And usualy, those product shiped outside the state aren't subjected to taxes within the state. It will still just be more charged for the products being taxed.
          • "And usualy, those product shiped outside the state aren't subjected to taxes within the state."

            And you're missing the point; the parent mentioned taxing the oil companies directly. While Texas may not be able to collect taxes from gasoline sold in Florida, they can tax the income the corporation receives from that sale, so it's a net gain for Austin.

            • Net gain at the expense of consumers most likely in that state. Oil companies have point of nexus (does enough business to implement thst states tax code or actualy has a presence)in other states to the point that thier income is taxed into those other states. Keeping with your example, any oil company selling to florida or operating in florida will amas it profits from there in florida and those profits won't be subject to a texas tax until it is distributed to the benefactors (EG personal income tax.) All
  • Rings a bell (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    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.

    • I can't vote and I would deny my peers the ability to vote, if such a decision was ever put before me.
      I understand many adults are stupid too, but kids haven't finished school(Social Studies classes in particular), and have not had the opportunity to be exposed to new ideas.
    • Sure, they can be easily swayed by dumb slogans...

      Not nearly as much as the adults who do vote.
    • YMBFJ (Score:3, Insightful)

      by metamatic (202216)
      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.

    • Don't tell that to the folks in DC.
  • by Kohath (38547) on Thursday April 27, 2006 @06:37PM (#15216599)
    Because $10000 per child per year isn't enough. Because dumping bucketloads of money on schools has such a tremendous track record of success. Do it for the children (who actually won't be getting the money because it'll go to higher salaries for people who already work at the schools).
    • by jtshaw (398319) on Thursday April 27, 2006 @06:52PM (#15216695) Homepage
      Ya... because teachers and administrators in public schools are so overpaid...

      The problem isn't that the money goes to people who WORK at the schools, it goes to useless government employees that DON'T WORK at the schools and over price supplies that seam to evaporate into thin air.

      It is sad that my first job out of college after undergrad paid more then then public school teachers in some states with 25+ years of experience. It would probably be a lot easier to draw a large number of good teachers (and administrators) if they could provide some reasonable salaries...
      • Your post does not contradict the post you reply to. There is no point in throwing good money after bad. The schools are broken and more money won't fix them. Exactly where the breakage is I can't say, but the assertion that simply funnelling more money to the schools will not fix them is true.
      • by ElleyKitten (715519) <kittensunrise@NoSpaM.gmail.com> on Thursday April 27, 2006 @07:12PM (#15216858) Journal
        Ya... because teachers and administrators in public schools are so overpaid...

        Teachers aren't overpaid... but administrators are. At least at the district my husband works in, the administrators make much more than the teachers, and they, unlike teachers, cannot be laid off. Seriously, his district lays off teachers every year (driving up class sizes more and more), and when they finally passed a levy, guess what they did. Hired more administrators.

        Schools need smaller classes and better teachers. Everything else is just fluff.
        • Administrators are certainly overpaid. When I was still in school, one of the board's favorite cost-cutting measures was to encourage the early retirement of their older administrators. Then everyone got a promotion. This included taking some seasoned teachers and offering them an entry-level administration job.

          The idea behind this was that an administrator with many years on the job was making much much more than an entry level administrator, who in turn makes much much more than a newbie teacher fresh
          • My brother supervises a staff of 50. He is responsible for *everything* they do. From the smallest comment, to the largest gaffe. He is scrutinized by hundreds of people every working day, and even every night. His total budget is in the millions, which has accountants, internal, external, and armchair crawling over it all the time. The performance of his customers is judged every day, and many times by the Feds,the State, and by the customers. He is an Elementary School Principle. His salary is under 100k
      • I wouldn't count on it. Programmers and web authors get paid pretty well, and ... well, the proliferation of badly designed web pages, badly designed apps, and unstable drivers speaks for itself.

        Politicians get paid pretty well, but nearly all of them suck at doing their job.

        And there's the increasing number of medical doctors who do their job with all the passion of a fry cook. They don't seem to be interested in helping patients as much as belting out a diagnosis and getting them to go away.

        I'm not sayi
    • Yeah (Score:1, Flamebait)

      by Cyno01 (573917)
      Uhg, im a recent high school grad, i agree soo much. So much that people complain about with regards to school is just wrong. Teachers salaries too low? Average i've heard is around $40k to start, and remember, they only work 8 months out of the year. That equals $60k a year starting pay. Thats a lot for a BA/BS and no experience in anything. Plus most of them get government benifits. As for smaller class sizes, thats a scam too to get more teachers on the payroll. Why does the teachers union think teachers
      • Average pay to start for teachers is not $40,000 it is far lower, the overall average is $46,000.

        Teachers work Sept through May (full months) with a at least a week in June and August so it is closer to 9.5 to 10 months.

        Also worth noting is that public school teachers are worse conditions (don't get to pick who they want) and lower pay, so good teachers strive to make it to private schools lowering the standard of our public education.

        The people with money who care about their childrens education do pay the
      • by acidrain69 (632468) on Thursday April 27, 2006 @08:13PM (#15217332) Journal
        Just about everything you said was BS.

        I don't know where you live, but I don't know anywhere outside large, high-cost-of-living cities that pay starting teachers $40k+.

        My wife is a teacher, with a masters degree, and even with the masters she doesn't make $40k.

        And just because you work 8 months a year, it doesn't automatically translate to a $60k a year salary. You try finding seasonal work that will pay you $5k per month. Oh wait, you just got out of high school.

        No one is saying there should be 10 kids to a class. But when you have 25-30 kids running around like crazy, it is more difficult to handle them.

        I don't know when we ever had 50 students to a classroom in a single room schoolhouse, but the 1870's are so last century. The curriculum is a million times harder than it was then, when most people didn't go to college or even high school. We may not be #1 in the world (or 2 or 3 or 4 etc) but we are WAAAAY more educated as a country than we were back then.

        Don't even get me started on "No child left behind" and the FCAT. I know many teachers. My mother. My mother in law. Many of my wife's friends. They all have to teach less and focus on the bullshit FCAT.
        • I'm from New Jersey. The teacher's union here has negotiated beginning salares of $35K, and are pushing for $40K.
      • Try Washington State. Average teacher starting salary (which is funded by the state, not the district), is approximately $28,000. In most school districts, teachers work close to be beginning of August to the end of June. Yes, there is a month of vacation in there, but salary is generally payed year round. So yes, most teachers don't make $2500 a month BEFORE taxes get taken out. Compound that with the fact that teachers work overtime without pay (if you think a teacher's job starts when they arrive at
        • by lgw (121541)
          Teachers are paid what they're worth. If they weren't, the jobs would go unfilled. Supply is high. Now, you might argue that we would get *better* teachers if we paid more (which wouldn't be hard, in my experience), but the salaries of *current* teachers are clearly enough that people want the jobs.

          Almost every teacher I had back when dinosaurs roamed the Earth and I was in school was a glorified babysitter who made minimal effort to actually teach. They were paid pretty well for babysitters. Heck, I h
  • 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.
    • They believe, correct or not, that most of the people who play games are younger, either under 18 and not allowed to vote, or in the 18-25 range and thus not very likely to vote (for all their bitching, few university students actually get out to vote). Thus taxing something they care about isn't likely to have an impact on your votes. However if you tax something all your voters use, they'll be pissed.
    • 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'

      • Don't forget the age-old "Please, think of the children!" argument that comes from clueless parents who still haven't figured out that most of the video game market is legal adults.
    • Any argument that can be made for taxing games is going to be equally valid to any other entertainment medium.

      As with every sin tax, the argument is "video games are bad for you, so we will tax them so that . . ." What I've never been sure about is whether it's so that (a) you'll stop playing or so that (b) we'll make lots of money off your addiction.
  • 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 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.
    • Re:Well... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ADRA (37398)
      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.
      • I doubt that a congressman really cares if the 10-20 max DVDs that he buys a year ends up costing him $100 more. I think the idea here is more "Tax anything that my constituents don't buy." When you consider that the majority of gamers are young, most young people don't vote, seniors tend to vote in massive numbers, and very very few seniors play videogames, this is an almost transparent tax to the people that matter to the congressman from Texas. In his mind, he's happy to let the 25 crowd bitch all th
  • 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.
    • How is this -in any way- insightful?

      "Why should people buying software be paying for schools?"

      Why should people playing the lottery be paying for schools? Why should people buying yachts be paying for public parks? Why should people buying gum be paying for welfare?

      "Tax is too complicated and too closely related to freedom to be used to implement political policy."

      exactly what 'political policy' does the (stupid) proposed game tax implement?
      • > > "Why should people buying software be paying for schools?"

        > Why should people playing the lottery be paying for schools? Why should people
        > buying yachts be paying for public parks? Why should people buying gum be paying
        > for welfare?

        What I was getting at is why should people buying software *particularly, and in excess of all other people*, be paying for schools?

        If you accept that general taxation should pay for schools, why should that burden fall that much more on people who buy softwa
    • Just follow australia.
      We just have the 10% GST on everything except certain food and other essentials plus a special tax on a couple things like alcohol & cigarettes.
    • Most are highly inequitious [..] There are well-known principles of general taxation which are equitious

      When you want people to believe you, it helps to use proper language. The words are inequitable and equitable. Though those are value judgements, and economists working professionally should avoid using them.

      Tax is too complicated and too closely related to freedom to be used to implement political policy.

      Taxes are used in this manner all the time, Toby. Taxes penalize activities and redistribute

      • This is why it is of paramount importance that we have smart leaders who really have our interests at heart, and who know how to consult economists when making policy. Because it's the politicians who decide, on our behalf, what society wants, and in which directions it should go.

        Let me know when you figure out how to elect smart politicians. From what I've seen around here, smart people don't run for office. People who are comfortable running around and having their picture taken while waving a flag or

  • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Thursday April 27, 2006 @06:43PM (#15216641)
    The McAllen Democrat said...

    How about a tax on Democrats who don't think there are enough taxes? Maybe we could tax them out of existence.

    And it's not even a tax on the kids, but on their parents. Just another school tax being described as something other than it really is (i.e. I'm taxing kids who buy video games to pay for their schools.)

    Or we could tax stupidity. That would put the Democrats out of business before the Republicans -- but not by much!

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Or we could tax stupidity.

      We already have that in every state. It's called the lottery.
    • > Or we could tax stupidity. That would put the Democrats out of business before the Republicans -- but not by much!

      Um, no, have you read the news lately? Paid attention to foreign and domestic policy? Democrats are not in charge.
    • I have a better idea. A tax on people who blame other parties for problems their own party cause.
    • More realistically: more taxes on (1) cars, or (2) cheeseburgers.

      Think of the insane revenues you could raise with those...

      And who are those unpatriotic commies complaining?!? Can't they see it's for the kids???
    • How about a tax on Democrats who don't think there are enough taxes? Maybe we could tax them out of existence.

      The only thing worse and than tax-and-spend Democrats are the tax-cut-borrow-and-spend Republicans.

      Or we could tax stupidity. That would put the Democrats out of business before the Republicans -- but not by much!

      What could be stupider than expanding the federal government and expanding spending at an astronomical rate far beyond anything Democrats have ever done, and then living in some total delu
  • by LostCluster (625375) * on Thursday April 27, 2006 @06:44PM (#15216652)
    Would Windows be considered taxable because it afterall contains Solitare and Minesweeper which clearly are games?
    • Oh, and if your cell phone has a game on it, does that mean that you need to pay a game tax on your cell phone? ... and if a business owner purchases a videogame for a retail location, does it get taxed?

      If you load a webpage with a java applet that embeds a game in it, and you play it, would you need to voluntarily send in a your videogaming tax fee?

      If a software vendor makes serious software that someone finds a way to use for gaming purposes (like tracking gaming odds in spreadsheets), does that software
    • Would Windows be considered taxable because it afterall contains Solitare and Minesweeper which clearly are games?

      Obviously, Politics(tm) is a great game, all Politicians(tm) seems to enjoy it very much, even when they don't understand it (which most don't). Hopefully Politicians(tm) will be taxed. And since it look like a MMORPG type of game, they should be taxed monthly. At 5% their salary each month, schools won't have any budget problem for quite a while.

  • Why oh why does this crap even come up when there are more pressing issues to deal with. We can try to vote these idiots out but they are replaced with more bought or idiot canidates. Why doesn't he propose taxing all that money the US oil companies are bringing in? Have them help fund schools. If you are going to propose a tax on video games because some of them may be "bad" and alot of kids buy video games, then why not tax violent movies for that matter(leave the pr0n alone though...wait I don't pay f
  • 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.
    • BTW, I say we should tax campaign contributions.

      Hey, wait: you might have something there.

      I am the State Treasurer of a small political party that doesn't accept corporate contributions, just personal ones, as a matter of principle. Some of our contributions come through PayPal. PayPal of course extracts a small fee for the service, so we don't get the full amount. $5 --> $4.55; $10 --> 9.41; $25 --> $23.97. In a certain sense, then, we are already paying a tax (of sorts; obviously it is a

  • Put a tax on, oh, say, food? That would generate more revenue than a tax on games.

    Or better yet, pornography.

    "Hey kids! Your new playground is sponsored by taxes from hotaction.com! They've even put up a few promotional posters to encourage you!"

    Works both ways!
    • Put a tax on, oh, say, food? That would generate more revenue than a tax on games.

      Food qualifies as a necessity, and different states do have taxes on it. However, some states have their tax structure setup specificially so that necessities aren't taxed. So such a proposal would require several states to restructure their whole tax system. Good luck there.
  • I already pay taxes to support schools. I just got my 2006 notice, and I'm paying $4,414.44 this year to support Texas schools. Somehow I don't imagine that figure is going to go down if this stupid proposal passes, it's just an attempt to get more school funding in a way most people won't notice enough to whine about.

    Democrats just need to face the fact that most Texans don't want to fund schools. If they did, they wouldn't keep voting for Republicans. So quit trying to save people from themselves, and giv
    • 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.

  • Didn't we just extend a tax cut on dividend income? Wouldn't that generate a lot more income than taxing a kid who spends his Wendy's salary to buy a $45 game? I guess a senator (who probably owns a lot of stock) wouldn't even notice that games cost more, and parents (who at least own more stock than their kids) could see it as a good thing since their kids would be less likely to play as many games if they cost more. Too bad the poor kids can't vote!
  • I haven't heard so much bull since the California lottery was proposed to help the schools.
    • Since your ears are clogged from all the bull in Cali then you probably didn't hear what the Texas State Lotto "pays" for!

      Proposed nothing, I got one of those $30 tickets the other day, won 60 bucks, woot!

      Best part is, I work for an ISD so it's like playing for free!
  • by Raul654 (453029) on Thursday April 27, 2006 @07:08PM (#15216824) Homepage
    If you believe that TV, movies, music, video games, 'etc are free speech (and, outside of Jack Thompson, I'm pretty sure most people do), then taxing them is unconstitutional. Remember - the power to tax is the power to destroy [state.gov]. As soon as they are legally allowed to levy a $1 tax on video games, they can just as easily make it $1 million.
    • So, do you pay sales tax at a book store? Because it seems to me that this tax is a tax on the sale, not upon the game itself -- I mean, what else could they tax? Taxation at the time of sale is generally the only enforceable option for merchandise such as this.
  • I like how they talk about how it will 'help the children', instead of how it might negatively affect the game economy in the state. Shouldn't the rule of the thumb be "government doesn't need to go where government doesn't need to go"?
  • Wouldn't this just cause Texan gamers to order online even more often, shutting down game retailers in Texas?
  • This is just a tax increase, pure and simple. They say 'it's for the schools!' so people will vote for it. But all they do is then take away the other money that WAS going to the schools.

    It's just a general tax increase aimed at an unpopular target.
  • Because all the previous taxes for schools, public works, and beautification projects have accomplished their intended goal. Every city in America already has adequate social servic--oh wait...

    "You are a slave, Neo."
  • by amuro98 (461673)
    Why is this targeting video games - and JUST video games?

    If this is a luxury tax, then why not expand it to cover books, magazines, music and movies (including rentals)?

    Let's see...you have "Children", "Taxes", "Schools", "Funding" and the newest addition, "Video Games". A fine example of grandstanding using Political Buzzword Bingo!

    I'd point to the fast-food tax which was proposed elsewhere as being a more realistic - and lucurative - revenue source. The only stipulations I'd make are that this tax shoul
  • its lovely to think that the kids who buy taxed games will be contributing to their own education. but unfortunately the substantial majority of gamers are over 20, and the most recent GDC expressed concern that new, younger people were not being attracted to game playing at all.
  • Retailers have lobbyists too, chill.
  • Form - LEG101-EZ

    Please fill out in entirety and submit to appropriate committee
    (for a color coded list of committees and their chairs see appendix ii)

    My suggestion is to raise taxes on ________.
    (something you find distasteful, onerous, or, you know, bad)
    Description of why said item should be taxed (please be verbose, and if possible, reasonably accurate):
    The tax rate will be __%
    We'll use the money to fund ________.
    (something most people feel good about, e.g. schools, parks, healthcare)

    All le
  • As a gamer and a tech at a Texas ISD I am stuck in the middle. On one side the more tax money rolls in, the bigger my raise in Aug, on the other side that raise means nothing if I have to pay more for games. I guess I should be focusing on the kids and what it means for them, but if I don't get my Guitar Hero fix daily, those kids will destroy my mind, and then they all somehow fail my lab. On second thought, you better not tax games, it'll breed angry un-focused teachers who vent on slashdot during fiel
  • They'd tax us for the air we breathe if they could.

    I've got a better idea... How about aggressively cutting excessive waste from government. They could be just as efficient with half the bloat they have now.

    The amount of waste in government is mindblowing. Around here we've had a milder winter than normal and yet, by some miracle local governments still managed to go over-budget on snow removal. We get one bad snowstorm, like we do every year and they start crying for emergency funding.

    The government is ess

You are an insult to my intelligence! I demand that you log off immediately.

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