Taxing Television in NJ

Enough already!

Today we hear about another proposed fee on entertainment. Assemblywoman Joan Voss (D-38) is reported as having said:

Cable television channels that are heavily promoting the Texas Hold ‘Em rage should be held responsible for some of the unglamorous side effects, like juvenile gambling addictions.

Why? Why does New Jersey have to tax the cable channels that show poker, blackjack, etc.? Will the new pool show be taxed? Other than the notice Ms. Voss receives because she was quoted in a national paper, I cannot imagine this has the possibility of being enacted.

Voss said easy access to the television coverage by young viewers is dangerous.

If Ms. Voss truly felt this, then collecting money for treatment after the fact isn’t the right approach. Rather, banning the dangerous show altogether would be the correct move. Or perhaps regulating the show only be shown after midnight. Not that either of those would go toward preventing children from watching, but it would be more sensible than taxing Bravo! or ESPN.

As the article states, the casino industry in New Jersey already kicks in more than a half million dollars annually for anti-gambling initiatives. Ms. Voss’ proposal does nothing more than burden companies who do business in the Garden State. Stop looking for cheap revenue sources and cut more spending from this bloated budget of ours. It occurs to me that the 40% pay hike Ms. Voss enacted for herself recently might be a good place to cut.

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