Proposed Oklahoma violent-game tax bill defeated

House Bill 2696 that sought to charge 1 percent tax on games rated T, M, and AO falls by 5-6 margin in subcommittee.

Oklahoma gamers will not be forced to pay an additional 1 percent tax on "violent" games anytime soon. House Bill 2696 was voted down on February 20 by a 5-6 margin in Oklahoma's Appropriations and Budget Subcommittee on Revenue & Taxation.

HB 2696 failed in committee this week.

Introduced earlier this month by representative Will Fourkiller (D. 86th District), HB 2696 sought to charge an additional 1 percent tax on all games rated T, M, and AO in Oklahoma. Fourkiller designed the bill as a means to bring awareness to bullying and obesity.

According to minutes from the discussion recorded by the Oklahoma Watchdog, skepticism regarding the bill's ability to follow through on its aims were voiced by representative Pat Ownbey (D. 48th District)

"Why [tax] just video games? Why not French fries or rap music or movies?" he said. Representative Mike Reynolds (R. 91st District) added, "We could have a task force on a multitude of reasons children are obese."

The Video Game Voters Network, a pro-gaming industry lobbying group, released a statement on the matter, saying its Oklahoma members worked expeditiously to combat the bill, sending "hundreds" of messages to Fourkiller and the Oklahoma subcommittee voicing their discontent.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

Want the latest news about Bully: Scholarship Edition?

Bully: Scholarship Edition

Bully: Scholarship Edition

Follow

Discussion

176 comments
fillup0
fillup0

In the UK they wanted to do something similar, but it would shove up the price of games to something like £100...

thereal-15-cent
thereal-15-cent

@ Spacerac, I remember Bibleman O.O it was the cheesiest show on earth... It was funny though. I remember the controversy over the Left Behind game, but I never played it.

Nic345
Nic345

This is great news. Hopefully more people will follow and veto/oppose any other bills like this.

Takeno456
Takeno456

How many times must we show the government that it is not their job to parent? I know a large majority of parents today aren’t worth anything but it is still not the government’s job to parent kids.

Henninger
Henninger

Good cuz that would've set a very bad precident.

Spacerac
Spacerac

@thereal-15-cent They think we play that Left Behind or Bibleman game. :roll:

Seis_Siete
Seis_Siete

So, basically the government is trying to control what we do? What happened to having rights?

Labouskie
Labouskie

Why are there so many stupid people in our democratic system? Oh thats right there are so many stupid people who vote the stupid canadates into office.

Shadowsnake
Shadowsnake

I'm guessing that every attempt to do things like this in recent history did nothing to prove to them this was a collosal waste of manpower & taxpayer $.

dsmpunk
dsmpunk

Aren't there more important things out there to debate Oklahoma? As a parent, shouldn't I have the ability to choose whether or not my kids play something? Guess what? My 10 year old plays left 4 dead with me occasionally. Does she bully other kids? No. Is she obese? lol not even close. That's because she actually goes outside and plays most days, and she knows that zombies arent real. Stay out of my business and my wallet.

DaveEck
DaveEck

Oklahoma isn't necessarily run by idiots, but they do try to initiate unnecessary and pointless taxes on us all the time. Our state officials like to pad their pockets as much as they can without us knowing about it. Seriously, I never heard about this until now and I keep up with our state's news pretty often.

ProMethUse
ProMethUse

still, that 1% won't stop people from playing :D

Black_Id_Jenova
Black_Id_Jenova

I like the way they said why not tax the french fries, GOOD ONE!!

DrOoLeR11
DrOoLeR11

I think that even if the bill was passed it wouldn't have been around long, it would have gone to the Supreme Court and it would have been found unconstitutional.

darklord1294
darklord1294

If they are really concerned about the health of children, then they should look more into their dietary needs. School food couldn't be less healthy and God knows that fast food places specifically target children with their advertising! I'm not suggesting this is the only problem, but it is one of the biggest.

FallenOneX
FallenOneX

I don't know which is worse; The fact that they were even considering something this broad, or that it barely failed to pass....

HeeroYuy0905
HeeroYuy0905

@Kabaro Of course you never think about right-wing censorship, right? You conservative douches pretty much always censor anything and deny rights to human beings just because it goes against your morality, aka the Bible.

Vaultdweller108
Vaultdweller108

i would like to know when parents are going to take responsibility for their kids and stop blaming video games, music, moves, fast food, ex ex when their letting them do all this stuff.

gamer-clemm
gamer-clemm

If they were going to raise the tax on "violent" video games, then they should also add that 1 percent tax to "violent" movies, books, magazines, comics, and cartoons.

slayerSS-3
slayerSS-3

lol that was close. But now really this is pathetic...

pokecharm
pokecharm

I think attacking childhood obesity might somehow be linked to gaming, but not due to violence...

Philly1UPer
Philly1UPer

and in other news, more Americans tax dollars have been wasted as their debt increases.

JustPlainLucas
JustPlainLucas

I'm disappointed that the bill was even conceptualized, gratified that it was defeated, but disappointed again that it was defeated by such a close margain.

OmegaGear
OmegaGear

I would say this whole thing sounds ridiculous, because in my eyes, it is, but its not unheard of. We've had the luxury tax for decades/

slyguy65
slyguy65

Just goes to show how desperate and pathetic the US is at spending its money when it needs to try taxing more on stuff that sells well first it was chirstmas trees now its this....just pathetic

SLjimbolian
SLjimbolian

I propose we tax Rep. Fourkiller because his name encourages children to kill...four times.

SporkFireXPS
SporkFireXPS

@NeilCardiff Two highly reputable medical journals, The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism and The American Journal of Preventive Medicine, both made these statements blaming federal dietary guidelines. The federal standards demand the removal of natural animal fats, sugars, and salt from the diets of Americans. The removal of these nutrients from the diet causes extra eating, because the body seeks to regulate its salt, sugar, and natural fat levels to the actual natural levels it needs, not the government mandated levels . In other words, some foods that the government has decided are "bad for you" are necessary to the body's intake regulation system. Removing these foods from the diet is a cause of the unnatural food craving we see. Carbohydrate intake has increased as a result of the decrease in dietary fat. The quality of carbohydrate has been changing, so that Americans, especially children, are eating more carbohydrates with a higher glycemic index. High glycemic index diets lead to high insulin levels, resistance and excessive weight gain, whereas low glycemic index diets have the opposite effect. It's no coincidence that the committee in the 1970's that issued a report advising Americans to lower their risk of heart disease by eating less fat (and eventually all of this was incorporated into the "food pyramid") was shortly before the obesity epidemic got going.

wavelength121
wavelength121

If they are wasting time on this, it means they've already solved all of society's other problems, right?

trfritzen
trfritzen

What the hell is up with these ridiculous bills? Next they'll try to pass something to take away our right to due process if labeled a terrorist. Oh wait...

FedCom
FedCom

Only thing the bill would have made me aware of was how anointing an extra tax on games would have been... good job Will, but now I know o.0

map586
map586

If this had went throught, the esrb probably would of just lowered the ratings on games to compensate. I'm sure that had to come up in discussion.

hunter8man
hunter8man

Thank goodness someone had half a brain cell to see how dumb this proposed law was. Just when I thought Leland Yee's proposal was dumb, this one takes the cake.

Tomdogg
Tomdogg

*Face-palm* Nothing left to say

Pawfalcon
Pawfalcon

Well that would have been f'n dumb. Thank god for lobbyists lol.

Jerrymiru
Jerrymiru

What a stupid idea. Not like they do that with movies or books. ~Sheesh

NeilCardiff
NeilCardiff

@SporkFireXPS Please explain exactly how governments make people fat then? This should be entertaining.

DarthLod
DarthLod

Is there anything the Government doesn't feel the need to tax? We pay taxes ALL DAY LONG. From the moment you wake, and even while you sleep. Enough is enough. They can't even use the money they get properly, so why should people give them more? Glad. this failed.

MOwens9512
MOwens9512

Wow, glad I'm just hearing about this. Couldn't imagine having knowledge of something as retarded as this for almost an entire month. Like seriously, there are more threatening things in life that you probably could tax more before video games should even come into consideration. Of course, most of those things profit politicians a lot more, making them less of a scapegoat for people living life poorly and not taking responsibility.

ConkerAndBerri2
ConkerAndBerri2

I live in Colorado and insurance companies around here are actually PAYING people on a 6 month basis to lose weight. Motivation is the best inspiration to get someone to do something. Not forcing them to pay more money. Bills like this will never go through. Gamers outnumber politicians and over protective soccer moms last time I checked.

ptown58
ptown58

Bullying and obesity ? sounds like the Govt.

ptown58
ptown58

"people are obese BECAUSE of the government." .... ha ha ha ha .......... could be society at large ?

ptown58
ptown58

Might want to second think about giving any politician your money , who in their right mind would give a politician money anyways ? .... ha ha ha ha

ptown58
ptown58

Nice knowing these "representatives" of the people are spending hard earned tax money on developing bills like this.

BillyColeman
BillyColeman

SporkFireXPS now now people are obese because of them selfs nothing more enless. you took some sort of anxiety pills or mental health drugs that have a side effect of weight gain. other then that ppl are fat obese morbidly obese or anyother words the docs can come up with because thay dont get off there ass enough or thay eat way too much fast food at night and stuff. fact is video games films music cant and wont make anyone obese end of story o and the government wont make u fat at all thay will make u thin by takeing all your tax money on stuff like this :P

SporkFireXPS
SporkFireXPS

I don't think the government understands that people are obese BECAUSE of the government.