Wisconsin Lawmaker Proposes Game Tax to Fund Juvenile Offender Program

A Wisconsin lawmaker wants to ensure that non-violent, youthful offenders are processed in juvenile, not adult court.

The idea makes sense, but State Senator Jon Erpenbach’s plan to fund rehabilitation programs for those found delinquent is controversial.

As reported by the Wisconsin Radio Network, Erpenbach, a Democrat, wants to add a special one-percent sales tax for video games and game consoles. The surcharge would be in addition to Wisconsin’s current five-percent sales tax.

State Representative Steve Nass (R), however, has questioned the logic of tying video games to juvenile crime and wonders why games should be singled out for a tax increase.

GP: Although we really like the idea of keeping non-violent juvenile offenders out the adult system (seems like a no-brainer), it is difficult to see Sen. Erpenbach’s logic here in regard to the video game tax. Is he presuming a relationship between games and youth crime? No data supports that. More likely, he is equating video games with toys (and thus with children), as so many non-gamers of his generation are wont to do.

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