Video Game Tax Proposed in Wisconsin

Wisconsin state senator Jon Erpenbach (D) wants to keep 17-year-old non-violent offenders from being tried as adults in his state, a proposal that seems to be facing little contention--what is more controversial is that Erpenbach wants to pay for the juvenile rehabilitation programs by establishing a new 1% video game sales tax.

Erpenbach's statements on the matter, as reported by local Madison network WISC, suggest he associates gaming with minors, providing a link between the tax and its purpose. "The idea being that this is kind of a kids/kids thing," he explained. "In other words, if we're going to do this for kids maybe this would be a good way to go about it."

Critics of the target of the tax include state representative Steve Nass (R), who points out video games are unrelated to juvenile crime. The state senator indicated he would take other suggested funding proposals into consideration for the bill.

Defending the program's aim, Erpenbach said, "It's the right thing to do because not all 17-year-olds belong in the adult system when it comes to non-violent offenses. ...If you treat certain situations in a juvenile delinquent-type of a setting, as opposed to an adult setting, chances are there's going to be less of a problem when the kid gets older."