New York State Assemblyman Felix Ortiz (D-Brooklyn) is on a roll, and we’re only 11 days in to the New Year. Earlier today we reported that he wants to install mandatory breathalyzers in New Yorkers’ automobiles by 2015, and now we get wind that he’s proposing a tax on kids’ rice cakes and video entertainment.
Our friends at Reason.tv are reporting:
Ortiz has noticed that kids are getting kind of fat, so he’s slapping a wee little tax—one quarter of one percent—on sales of all the foods listed as sweets or snacks in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, plus a tax on sale and rentals of video games and movies and game controllers. (A faint silver lining: Reading this bill taught me what DVD stands for. Digital Versatile Disk, apparently. Who knew?) That money goes to an “Childhood Obesity Prevention Program Fund.” But the tax fails to distinguish between good and bad snack, and good and bad video games. So in the name of obesity prevention, education games will get hit, as will these USDA-listed snacks …
Here’s another blooper from Ortiz’ proposed ‘anti-obesity’ tax: Kids and adults intent on purchasing Nintendo’s Wii ‘Fit’ games would be penalized with a sin tax. According to People magazine, First Lady Michelle Obama encourages her two girls to engage in Wii’s virtual physical fitness games on a regular basis.
Got some advice for Ortiz before his next attempt to legislate the behaviors and eating habits of New Yorkers both young and old? Contact his office.