Pennsylvania Mature Game Tax Resurfaces

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We’ve learned Pennsylvania Rep. Christopher B. Quinn (R) has yet again proposed a tax on mature video games sold in the state.

Back in September 2018 House Bill 2705 proposed a 10% tax on mature and adult rated video games. Money generated from that tax would go into the Digital Protection for School Safety Account in a bid to counter-act school shootings.#

The bill reportedly died in committee, but Variety states Quinn has now proposed House Bill 109, which seems to propose the exact same thing again. It has been referred to Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives Finance Committee.

The Entertainment Software Association spoke to Variety about the proposed bill, calling it “a violation of the U.S. Constitution”. Further:

“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. 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.”

Ironically House Resolution 66 was introduced by Rep. Ryan Bizzarro (D-Erie) and “unanimously” adopted, recognizing February as Esports Month for Pennsylvania.

In older news, PlayStation users in Chicago are now subjected to a 9% entertainment tax.

How do you feel about more meaningless taxes on video games based on their content? Or just more taxes in general? Sound off in the comments below!

Ryan Pearson

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Taking his first steps onto Route 1 and never stopping, Ryan has had a love of RPGs since a young age. Now he's learning to appreciate a wider pallet of genres and challenges.