New York Bill Would Add Fat Tax to Video Games, DVDs, Junk Food

May 14, 2009 -

A bill currently before the New York Assembly would add a one-quarter of one percent tax to the sale or rental of video games and video game hardware.

The measure, A02455, was proposed by Assemblyman Felix Ortiz (D, at left) of Brooklyn. The bill would also tax the sale and rental of movies, admissions to movie theaters and the sale of snack foods and sweet drinks. In addition, corporations would be barred from taking a New York tax deduction for expenses incurred in advertising any of the affected items, including video games and systems.

The proposal is currently before the Assembly's Ways and Means Committee, where it seems likely to remain. This is Ortiz's fourth attempt at similiar legislation since 2003; none have made it out of committee.

Ortiz's proposal is motivated by his desire to address the current obesity epidemic. In the justification for A02455 he writes:

Almost all experts agree that the primary reasons [for the obesity epidemic] are increased consumption of larger quantities of high calorie foods, snacks and sugar sweetened beverages... and lack of physical activity as vigorous play is replaced by sedentary activities such as watching more television, movies and videos and playing video games.

This bill would raise revenues from modest surcharges on the very food products and sedentary activities that are linked to the lifestyle changes involved in the explosion of childhood obesity in the last 20-30 years.

Ortiz estimates that his bill would raise $50 million in revenue which would in turn be used to fund programs designed to counter childhood obesity. Conservative magazine The American Spectator refers to Ortiz as "perhaps the nation’s most prolific author of vice taxes:"

[Ortiz] has a litany of bills before the New York state legislature imposing a $10 tax on visitors to strip clubs, a 25¢-cent tax on bottles of beer and wine, and a fatso tax on soda, sweets, and video games.


Comments

Re: New York Bill Would Add Fat Tax to Video Games, DVDs, ...

Both Liberals and Conservatives have unsolvable contradictions in their ethos. 

Liberals are the first to say "question authority" and distrust "the man" and yet want to live under a system where the government tells you what job to have, how much you can earn, how many hours you can work, what health care you can get, etc.

Conservatives claim to be against government intrusion into everyone's lives, and yet try to push their (flawed) morality on everyone through legislation that is anti-gay, anti-abortion, anti-porn, etc.

Welcome to the sad world of political "sides".

Re: New York Bill Would Add Fat Tax to Video Games, DVDs, ...

I totally agree. The only true liberals and conservatives are libertarians. I distain the idea that liberals tell us what to do, while still taking the world "liberal", and Christian conservatives telling us what is morally right and wrong. False liberals tax everything and take away our rights, while false conservatives push us back from the rights we should have. Libertarians are the only side I can find myself agreing with.

Re: New York Bill Would Add Fat Tax to Video Games, DVDs, ...

The funny thing is how many Conservatives and (especially) Liberals seem to hate Libertarians!

Re: New York Bill Would Add Fat Tax to Video Games, DVDs, ...

I suddenly want to hug the both of you

Let me put that on my to-don't list.

Re: New York Bill Would Add Fat Tax to Video Games, DVDs, Junk

It´s complete pointless because people will get their fast food or videogames anyways. Besides, more expensive videogames or DVDs just benefits piracy and torrent downloads.

 

The cynical side of videogames (spanish only): http://thelostlevel.blogspot.com/ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com/

Re: New York Bill Would Add Fat Tax to Video Games, DVDs, Junk

a .25% tax on a $50 video game would see the price go up 12.5 cents. This tax is not intended as a deterant.

Re: New York Bill Would Add Fat Tax to Video Games, DVDs, Junk

Still it feels like that.

The cynical side of videogames (spanish only): http://thelostlevel.blogspot.com/ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com/

Re: New York Bill Would Add Fat Tax to Video Games, DVDs, ...

Man have I been sick of these people moderating our lives because, apparently, no one should be trusted to make good decisions. 

They've already removed everything besides health bars and flavored water from our schools, and now they need to force people to pay extra money for products that are assigned with bad habits.  It's so frustrating that I can't have a good snack in my high school because people must eat Twinkies if they see them.  There are ONLY flavored waters and health foods in the vending machines, students are not allowed to sell candy for fundraisers, it's crazy.

It's important to make sure that healthy choices are available but to FORCE people to choose low calorie products is absurd.  I can't believe that everyone is so helplessly irresponsible that the government needs to force people to eat healthy foods.  If people have problems, they need to take the responsibility to fix them.  We aren't helpless children, and we certainly don't all share in these health issues.  Parents need to teach their kids to be healthy NOT THE GOVERNMENT.  We live in a world where children have role-models that are too lazy to raise their kids right.  They believe the government should ban shows they don't want kids watching, ban games they don't want kids playing, and ban snacks they don't want kids eating.

So now, because everyone is convincing the government that they are pathetic slobs who can't control themselves, I'll have a tax to pay, on some of my favorite things.  The best part is that DDR will most likely be taxed too ;)

Re: New York Bill Would Add Fat Tax to Video Games, DVDs, Junk

Also, New York recently upped their tax on liquor of any sort by 110%.  So adding another 25 cents per bottle isn't going to be a big deal, save to people who buy cases of 12 or 24 at a time (how big a bitch is that, though, paying an extra 4 dollars for a case of beer?).

Re: New York Bill Would Add Fat Tax to Video Games, DVDs, Junk

New York just overall sucks.  It's the same state that brought H.R. 2159 to committee, so this isn't a surprise.  By the way, H.R. 2159 allows people to be denied their right to purchase a firearm if they're one of the groups listed by Homeland Security as potential terrorists. 
New York: Because being next to New Jersey and filled with guidos isn't enough suck. 

Re: New York Bill Would Add Fat Tax to Video Games, DVDs, ...

California ain't much better. And we don't have any of the excuses you just mentioned.

God, I wish the Jefferson State had worked. That's what I tell people: I'm not from NorCal, I'm Jefferson.

Re: New York Bill Would Add Fat Tax to Video Games, DVDs, ...

Well, I just kind of act off the assumption that California is the worst state in the union.  One of the highest crime rates, highest illegal immigrant rate, the list goes on and on, plus its one of the most freedom-restricting states in the USA. 

I hate Cali so much, I won't be attending next year's American Criminal Justice Institue annual meeting, even though I had been offerred a free 5 day stay in the hotel.  I just cannot stand that state.  Also, Berkley is full of smug elitist pricks.

Re: New York Bill Would Add Fat Tax to Video Games, DVDs, ...

Hey, California gets a lot of flack, but I don't think it's nearly as bad as people say it is.

Re: New York Bill Would Add Fat Tax to Video Games, DVDs, ...

"...plus its one of the most freedom-restricting states in the USA."

Hahah, right. Whatever you say.

Re: New York Bill Would Add Fat Tax to Video Games, DVDs, ...

Yeah, but we do have Disneyland.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: New York Bill Would Add Fat Tax to Video Games, DVDs, ...

Disneyworld is way cooler, but they're both ridiculously overpriced.

Re: New York Bill Would Add Fat Tax to Video Games, DVDs, ...

''lack of physical activity as vigorous play is replaced by sedentary activities such as watching more television, movies and videos and playing video games.''

 

So...

where is the tax on reading books?

War and peace is an epic length book. the larger the book, the greater the tax should be.

Re: New York Bill Would Add Fat Tax to Video Games, DVDs, ...

You don't get taxes on reading books, no, instead books get credited for making kids safer by reducing injuries that can come from accidents during more physical activities.

I'm serious. I remember reading a while back an article about the Harry Potter series supposedly leading to a reduction of injuries among kids. The idea was that it increased reading among children, and by doing so reduced the amount of time they spent outside doing physical activities that could lead to accidental injuries.

I love reading, and I think it's good when kids read. I think the Harry Potter series is a good series too. But the double standard does become a little blatent at times.

Re: New York Bill Would Add Fat Tax to Video Games, DVDs, ...

 Reading books promotes good literacy which is probably another thing people these days could use more of.

Re: New York Bill Would Add Fat Tax to Video Games, DVDs, ...

Playing brain training + professor layton improves my logic, puzzle solving, and math skills. Is that not as important as literacy?

Re: New York Bill Would Add Fat Tax to Video Games, DVDs, ...

re: "where is the tax on reading books?"

damn you beat me to it.

Re: New York Bill Would Add Fat Tax to Video Games, DVDs, ...

Where is the tax for being sitting on schools or offices like 12 hours at day...?

The cynical side of videogames (spanish only): http://thelostlevel.blogspot.com/ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com/

Re: New York Bill Would Add Fat Tax to Video Games, DVDs, ...

Funny thing is research is showing the being seditary isn't the main cause of the obesity epidemic (in the US,) it's over eating.

 

news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090508/hl_nm/us_overeating_obesity;_ylt=AvZFHgr83nR91754CVTljAaISbYF

Re: New York Bill Would Add Fat Tax to Video Games, DVDs, Junk

I would assume that this would violate equal protection, since it does not apply to all media or all food, just specific ones.

Re: New York Bill Would Add Fat Tax to Video Games, DVDs, ...

Equal Protection doesn't deal with material goods just people. A restrictioon based on race, gender, age, sexual orintation, religious beliefs, disabilities would apply under the 14th's equal protection clause not material products.

"No law means no law" - Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black on the First Amendment

"No law means no law" - Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black on the First Amendment

Re: New York Bill Would Add Fat Tax to Video Games, DVDs, Junk

So in order to "counter" obesity, they are going to use the funds raised by the very things that supposidely causes it the first place. Then if they manage to succeed, then their source of funding will be decreased because less people will take part in these activities. Does anyone else besides me find this idea rather odd (and full of flawed logic)?

 

Not only that but why should consumers be "forced" to pay for fighting child obesitiy? That's not very fair either especially those who DO keep in good shape but like to watch a movie or eat an unhealthy snack time and time again.

Re: New York Bill Would Add Fat Tax to Video Games, DVDs, ...

 Nothing odd about it... if they succeed then that means obesity will be less of a problem, which means there will be less need for those programs and thus they do not need as much funding. 

Re: New York Bill Would Add Fat Tax to Video Games, DVDs, Junk

I don't know.  Why should I be 'forced' into paying for other people's health insurance?  That's not very fair to me, after I spend all the time I do working so I can pay my family's health insurance.

I'll tell you what it boils down to: socialism.  The government in New York is stepping in and A) doing its best to tell people what they can eat, drink, and do and then B)they're making everyone foot the cost for the extremes.  So some fatass got pericarditis, big deal.  When you weigh 400 pounds, can you honestly tell me you didn't see that coming? 

Re: New York Bill Would Add Fat Tax to Video Games, DVDs, Junk

Socialism?

Re: New York Bill Would Add Fat Tax to Video Games, DVDs, Junk

Yes, taxes to fund health education programs are the very cornerstone of socialism. Next thing you know, we'll have the hammer and sickle on the flag.

I see a lot of folks bandying that word about these days, and most of you haven't got a clue what it means.

Re: New York Bill Would Add Fat Tax to Video Games, DVDs, Junk

That’s why I encourage a Public-Privatized hybrid health care system. With public health care, it runs more efficiently because shipment orders of supplies are ordered in bulk towards the whole nation, and standardization of practice makes it cheaper. But public health care also has a tendency to "water-down" the system for most middle class beings. Wait times, lower quality standards, and even not being able to get the medical supplies even if you can simply pay for them yourself.

With a public-privatized hybrid, you can accept the efficiency of a public health care system without incurring most of the problems that come with it. The government simply becomes a logistics middle man where your hospital sends out orders of medical supplies and the government buys them in bulk saving money, or sends out surplus supplies from other facilities. However for the patients in medical care, basic care is given to all citizens of conditions that are not in most part the patients fault. For example a car accident, assault, inherent medical conditions by genetics such as diabetes, or more embarrassingly bed wetting would be covered by basic medicare. However conditions that are inherently because of the patient would NOT be. So type 2 diabetes which was caused by lifestyle choices, or lung cancer with a history of smoking, and obesity would not be covered and must be paid out of the patients own wallet. This encourages PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY of your own health, and with a public-privitized system, you can pump in money by your own choice to be bumped up the waiting list or to pay for higher quality medical supplies. It’s also beneficial to the people who are receiving free care because the hospital now has more money to place in equipment to those sectors.

Thats why I encurage a Public-Privitized hybrid health care system. With public health care, it runs more efficently because shipment orders of supplies are ordered in bulk towards the whole nation, and standardization of practice makes it cheaper. But public health care also has a tendency to "water-down" the system for most middle class beings. Wait times, lower quality standards, and even not being able to get the medical supplies even if you can simply pay for them yourself.

With a public-privitized hybrid, you can accept the efficency of a public health care system without incurring most of the problems that come with it. The government simply becomes a logicstics middle man where your hospital sends out orders of medical supplies and the government buys them in bulk saving money, or sends out surplus supplies from other facilities. However for the patients in medical care, basic care is given to all citizens of conditions that are not in most part the patients fault. For example a car accdent, assault, inherent medical conditions by genetics such as diabeties, or more embarssingly bed wetting would be covered by basic medicare. However conditions that are inherently because of the patient would NOT be. So type 2 diabeties which was caused by lifestyle choices, or lung cancer with a history of smoking, and obesity would not be covered and must be paid out of the patients own wallet. This encurages PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY of your own health, and with a public-privitized health care system, you can pump money into the hospital to get yourself bumped up the waiting list, or pay for increased quality supplies and care. This also helps those who get free health care because now the hospital has more money to pay for better equipment in use for those areas. Win-win

Re: New York Bill Would Add Fat Tax to Video Games, DVDs, ...

The government has never (and I repeat:  NEVER) saved money on anything by buying in bulk.  I don't know how old you might be, but I remember when they were going through the Pentagon's budget and seeing that they were paying $800 for hammers, $32 (each) for screws (purchasable at a hardwares store for 10 cents each), and thousands of dollars for toilet seats.

Our government is far too incompetent, far too wasteful, far too bloated, and not nearly vigilant enough to keep any costs down.

If a politician talks about a plan that will "save money in the long term," you can bet that he's 100% wrong.

Re: New York Bill Would Add Fat Tax to Video Games, DVDs, ...

Ah yes.  The old hammer/toilet seat argument.

The hamers were made from a spefic non-sparking metal (Beryllium IIRC) due to the fact they were to be used in munitions or EOD, something along those lines.  Using a standard hardware store hammer would likely have resulted in a unwanted explosion.

The toilet seat cost was including the design and creation of a mold to replace the seats on anti-submarine planes.

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,960748,00.html?iid=chix...

Re: New York Bill Would Add Fat Tax to Video Games, DVDs, ...

One of the reasons for that is the good old boy system when everyone is allowed to strach each others back so no one can do thier job.

 


I am a criminal because I purchase media,I am a criminal because I use media, I am a criminal because I chose to own media..We shall remain criminals until Corporate stay's outside our bedrooms..


http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: New York Bill Would Add Fat Tax to Video Games, DVDs, ...

Your talking about the Pentagon. You know? The Department of Defense? Those 800$ were not for hammers I can tell you that much.

 
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