Missouri rep wants violent-game tax

HB 157 would charge a 1 percent excise tax on games rated T, M, or AO in Missouri; revenue derived would go toward mental health programs.

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If a new bill becomes law, gamers in Missouri could pay a "violent-game" tax in the near future. Missouri representative Diane Franklin (R-123rd District) introduced HB 157 (via PC Gamer) to the state's General Assembly this week, proposing that all games rated T, M, or AO carry a 1 percent excise tax.

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Revenue derived from this initiative would be deposited into the state's general revenue fund and be used only for the treatment of mental health conditions associated with "exposure" to violent video games.

According to the bill, "immediate action" is necessary to protect and ensure the mental health of those exposed to violent video games. In addition, it claims that such a bill is necessary for the "immediate preservation of public health, welfare, peace, and safety."

HB 157 was introduced to the Missouri General Assembly January 14, exactly one month after the schoolhouse massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, that left 20 children and six adults dead.

This is not the first time a state representative has introduced a bill seeking to tax violent games. In January 2012, Oklahoma state representative Will Fourkiller (D-86th District) introduced a bill that would charge a 1 percent excise tax, with revenue derived to be given to the state's obesity-fighting and anti-bullying funds.

This bill was defeated a month later.

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