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Rep. Hovey Proposes Sales Tax on Violent Video Games

The legislator, whose district includes part of Newtown, suggests 10 percent tax to fund mental health and addiction education.

State Rep. Debralee Hovey (R-Monroe, Newtown) has introduced a bill in the General Assembly to add a 10 percent sales tax to video games rated “mature” by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), a rating system wildly used throughout the gaming industry. 

According to the bill, HB 5735, the funding raised from the surcharge will be put toward research and education surrounding mental health, addiction and antisocial behavior, specifically, “to provide funds for education concerning the danger of violent video games.”

The bill comes less than two months after shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Lanza was known to have been a fan of first-person shooter video games, particularly realistic, military-style games such as Call of Duty.

Both the House and Senate Committees on Finance, Revenue and Bonding are currently considering the bill.

A report on GameSpot.com cites similar legislation proposed in Missouri that would levy a 1 percent tax on games rated “teen” through “adult only,” with the funding put toward “treatment of mental health conditions associated with ‘exposure’ to violent video games.”

Jim beam February 07, 2013 at 10:49 PM
Let's also place a 15% sales tax on guns and ammo. The proceeds will be used for mental health and domestic abuse services.
jim laguardia February 07, 2013 at 11:30 PM
Typical.... why violent video games???? Anything to change the focus!!! No one has EVER used violent video game disks to perform a mass shooting..... they use guns!!! Why out of all the lobby groups involved with things being blamed in the wake of Sandy Hook I.e. mental health, violent movies, violent video games, etc.... has ONLY the gun lobby held a major press conference and done the press circuit to say ..... don't blame us it not our problem, its everyone elses fault, not ours....
jim laguardia February 07, 2013 at 11:47 PM
Wait.... why not a tax on violent movies also??? You know just off the top of my head.... movies like "Scream" with those scary characters in them....
QWERTY February 08, 2013 at 12:48 AM
Violent movies, violent music, violent TV shows, violent literature...even it it's deemed to be a classic in nature; all need to be taxed. Hunting animals is violent in nature, make sure to tax them too. Of course, those who purchase video games are a safe and easy target for politicians. Imagine if Hovey had to actually impose a tax on rappers who write songs about killing and murder. God forbid we hold gun owners responsible for their own weapons. If Lanza couldn't obtain a gun, no amount of violent video games is going to make him do what he did.
mark antinozzi February 08, 2013 at 02:15 AM
I'm not sure that is enough! Having taught cources in Critical Viewing of TV, and Violence in TV, I can professionally say that these programs, as well as violent computer games contribute to a latent stimulation to do physical harm. Studies have proven this time over time, yet are ignored. Representive Hovey is on the right track, but should set her sights higher and attempt further regulation.
jim laguardia February 08, 2013 at 02:23 AM
You are joking right?? No matter how violent thedcontent of aa video game is thd disk itself has NEVER been used in a mass shooting!!!
cmu268 February 08, 2013 at 02:42 AM
Millions of people around the world play violent video games and see violent movies, tv shows, etc. and don't go out and kill people, so they now have to pay for this??
Al February 08, 2013 at 02:53 AM
What is wrong with this State is that they love taxing everything. Everyone is getting on the band wagon with no solutions. They close mental Hospitals. Why? Was it the Civil Liberty Union protecting the mentally ill.
Non-Fiction February 08, 2013 at 02:57 AM
Not true. Countries outside the US have much more violent films and play the same video games. The only difference is the gun laws in this country.
Alex February 08, 2013 at 03:10 AM
That's very disappointing Rep. Hovey that you'd try something like this. I'll keep this in mind next election. There is no proven connection between violent video games and violence people commit. These video games are available all throughout the entire world. Why do we not see more violence in countries like Korea or Japan where video game use is much higher? Because the connection does not exist.
jim laguardia February 08, 2013 at 03:20 AM
There is a thing called the "high road" but some people like DLH just can't seem to take it.... anything for a news story
Geezer February 08, 2013 at 12:40 PM
How about a nuisance tax on residents who put garbage like toilet bowls on their lawns?
Rick Strong February 08, 2013 at 12:42 PM
She also sponsored bill 5179. How come you didn't report on that??? Here's the text: AN ACT CONCERNING ACCESS TO THE INTERACTIVE VOICE RESPONSE SYSTEM OF THE SPECIAL LICENSING AND FIREARMS UNIT OF THE DIVISION OF STATE POLICE. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened: That chapter 529 of the general statutes be amended to require the Special Licensing and Firearms Unit of the Division of State Police to provide firearm dealers access to the unit's Interactive Voice Response system at all times, including on non-business days, for the purpose of obtaining firearm sales authorization numbers. Statement of Purpose: To permit firearm dealers seeking sale authorization numbers greater access to the Interactive Voice Response system of the Special Licensing and Firearms Unit of the Division of State Police.
Walt February 08, 2013 at 01:33 PM
And good old taxer in chief malloy just dramatically cut the states money for hospitals. That'll really help the mental health situation in the state.
Carl Kolchak February 08, 2013 at 01:56 PM
Hovey is an opportunistic hack.
Alan Vaglivelo February 08, 2013 at 03:16 PM
No direct, causal link between exposure to mock violence in the media and subsequent violent behavior has ever been demonstrated, and the few claims of modest correlation have been contradicted by other findings, sometimes in the same studies. If we want to reduce violence, protecting children from real violence in their lives (not the pale shadow of mock violence) is the place to begin.
QWERTY February 08, 2013 at 05:29 PM
The only reason why video game players are being targeted is because they aren't organized. Not much will happen to guns because groups like the NRA have major influence. Video game players/developers/companies need to form their own group if they want to put a stop to stuff like this.
jim laguardia February 08, 2013 at 05:40 PM
So in other words its easier to sell guns 24/7??? Or am I reading that wrong?
Non-Fiction February 08, 2013 at 06:54 PM
When will Hovey stop embarrassing our community?
mark antinozzi February 08, 2013 at 10:59 PM
Alan, While I hate to disagree with you, please Google "Violence in TV" and you will see study afer study which suports the premise that violence viewed on television or utilized on video games prompts acceptance of such devient behavior, and documented results.
Alan Vaglivelo February 08, 2013 at 11:26 PM
Mark Antinozzi- discussions of violent video games are clouded by ambiguous definitions, poorly designed research, and the confusion of correlation with causality. What is a violent video game, and how does its violence differ from violence in other media, and from violence as we know in reality? How do consumers of violent video games perceive the violence before them?
jim laguardia February 15, 2013 at 03:42 AM
Why was DLH name NOT part of the roll call of State Representatives at todays March For Change?????
jim laguardia February 15, 2013 at 03:52 AM
Like a few of the speakers said today..... maybe our politicians can be who are afraid to stand up to the pro gun lobby can be partially as courageous as the educators who have their lives protecting their students

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