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February 16, 2019
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Pennsylvania legislators want to slap a tax on mature games

Pennsylvania legislators want to slap a tax on mature games

February 6, 2019 | By Chris Kerr

February 6, 2019 | By Chris Kerr
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Legislators from the State of Pennsylvania have re-introduced a bill that would impose a 10 percent tax on adult and mature video games sold at retail. 

House Bill No. 109 explains the 10 percent tax would be levied in addition to any other applicable State and local sales taxes, and that all retailers who fail to collect the tax will be liable for a penalty. 

The cash would be put into a new Digital Protection for School Safety Account and used to enhance safety measures in school districts across Pennsylvania.

As pointed out by Variety, this is the second time the bill has been bandied about. It was first introduced last October by Rep. Christopher B. Quinn, who suggested adult titles should be taxed because of the purported links between video games and violence, particularly in schools.

Following its revival, the bill has been referred to the PA House of Representatives Finance Committee, but not everyone is happy to see it return.

The Entertainment Software Association claims the bill is "a violation of the U.S. Constitution," and dismissed Quinn's assertions that mature games are responsible for a surge in school violence.

"The U.S. Supreme Court made clear in Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association & Entertainment Software Association that video games are entitled to the full protection of the Constitution, and that efforts, like Pennsylvania's, to single out video games based on their content will be struck down," the ESA told Variety. 

"Numerous authorities -- including scientists, medical professionals, government agencies, and the US Supreme Court -- found that video games do not cause violence. We encourage Pennsylvania legislators to work with us to raise awareness about parental controls and the ESRB video game rating system, which are effective tools to ensure parents maintain control over the video games played in their home."

 



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