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GOP Tax Bill Excludes Violent Game Makers From Tax Credits

by Matt Helgeson on Feb 27, 2014 at 01:43 PM

The GOP's tax reform bill contains language that seeks to prevent companies that make violent games from an R&D tax credit designed to benefit U.S. industry.

In "The Tax Reform Act of 2014", created by the House Ways and Means Committee, the drafters of the bill include language that specifically excludes some game companies from receiving "an improved, permanent R&D tax credit, finally giving American manufacturers the certainty they need to compete against their foreign competition who have long had permanent R&D incentives."

One provision of the bill specifies "preventing makers of violent video games from qualifying for the R&D tax credit."

There were no details given on who would determine what constitutes a "violent" game and how the tax credit would affect game companies which manufacture both violent and non-violent games. For instance, would 2K Games be excluded from the tax credit because of Grand Theft Auto or be able to qualify because of non-violent fare like NBA 2K14 or the Civilization series?

So, while the Supreme Court determined that games are protected as free speech, it appears that the game industry still has a way to go in getting respect in Washington.

Source: Washington Examiner

Our Take:
This attempt to single out game companies is ridiculous and wrong-headed (and, I'm assuming, this worry about violence is not extended to film or TV production companies). Aside from being popular form of entertainment, the game industry provides thousands of high paying jobs to Americans, something that these House GOP members who are supposedly the champions of business might well remember.