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Missouri Lawmaker Proposes Violent Video Game Tax

Representative Diane Franklin (R) has proposed a bill to the Missouri state House for a one-percent sales-tax increase on all games rated Teen and up.

The bill states that the money raised by the proposed tax increase can only be used for "the treatment of mental health conditions associated with exposure to violent video games." However, the bill defines a violent video game as "...a video or computer game that has received a rating from the Entertainment Software Rating Board of Teen, Mature, or Adult Only." Games may receive a Teen or higher rating for a variety of reasons, not just violence. According to Show-Me Institute political analyst Patrick Ishmael, that could spell problems for Franklin's proposal.

"In other words, teen-rated games like 'The Sims,' 'Dance Central' or 'Guitar Hero' would be included in the tax, even though they're non-violent," Ishmael told Missouri Watchdog, a nonprofit news site. "Clearly, the law is poorly crafted. It's probably unconstitutional anyway since it targets the content of speech." A similar bill in Oklahoma was abandoned after losing a 5-6 subcommittee vote last February.

A representative has told Missouri Watchdog that Franklin is currently revising the bill. 

[Source: Missouri Watchdog]

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