Gamers, Put Your Government to Work for You! Print E-mail
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Written by Thomas "CigDangle" Balistreri   
Friday, 11 January 2008

[News] [OpEd]

Two weeks ago, news came to light that a Wisconsin state senator was proposing a 1% state tax on videogames and consoles.  The plan is to utilize the revenue from this new tax to pay for juvenile rehabilitation programs.  Democrat Jon Erpenbach also tied the bill to one that would prevent the trying of 17-year-olds as adults in the state for some non-violent situations.  Since Generation: Gamerz is headquartered in Wisconsin, this really hit home.

When our friends at the Video Game Voters' Network heard of this, they went to work on their latest letter writing campaign.  With the help of this handy form, Wisconsin gamers can send an email to their state representative, asking him/her to NOT support Senator Erpenbach's proposal.

Below is a copy of the email I sent to my rep, State Senator Mary Lazich.

From: "Thomas Balistreri"
Sent: Wednesday, January 09, 2008 3:43 PM
To: Sen.Lazich
Subject: A Video Game Tax is Unfair

Dear Senator Lazich,

I am writing to ask you to not co-sponsor Senator Erpenbach's proposed
tax on video games and game consoles.

As a voter and gamer, I believe this tax is not only unconstitutional,
but also misguided and unfair.

Not only is it unconstitutional to single out video games and burden
video game enthusiasts with a special tax (What about movies, books, and
music?), but it also makes no sense. Video games have nothing to do with
juvenile crime.

It is a well-known fact that as video games have soared in popularity
the national juvenile crime rate has dropped dramatically. Moreover, The
tax would stunt an industry that is growing in Wisconsin at over 11% per
year and contributes more than $23 million to the state economy and
would hurt the hundreds of Wisconsin citizens whose jobs depend on the
Wisconsin video game industry.

I strongly urge you to NOT co-sponsor Senator Erpenbach's proposed game


Thomas Balistreri

To my surprise, I received a response to my email today.

From: "Sen.Lazich"
To: "Thomas Balistreri" 
Date: Jan 11, 2008 3:16 PM  
Subject: A Video Game Tax is Unfair  

Dear Thomas,

Thank you for your email.  I agree with you.  I will honor your request,
and I will not co-sponsor Senator Erpenbach's tax on video games and


State Senator Mary Lazich

How's that for governement in action?  If you are not already on VGVN's mailing list, I highly recommend you sign up here, and help protect your gamer rights!


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