Statist claim: Taxes are Use Fees


Statists assert that taxes are just voluntary use fees, like any business charges.


The idea of "use fees" would be more credible if they didn't extort a percentage of a person's income rather than charging by actual market value of used government-claimed (but not owned) resources/services. Of course, many of their "services" have zero or negative market value (e.g., DMV, harassing people for using or carrying drugs, licensure rackets) so they'd end up owing people money in such a case, until they cut back.

Suppose I were to mow your lawn and demand 10% of your income for it: clearly a ridiculous situation, but a parallel to the ridiculous situation of the state expecting people to pay vast sums of money for donated services. To be more accurate, though, I would have to hire a gang of toughs to stop anyone else from mowing lawns in the neighborhood. (DBR)

  1. The government itself admits that taxation is not voluntary.. "tax, a forced burden charge or exaction for the support of the government." (51 Am jsp, tax sec 3)

  2. The government itself claims that it is under no obligation to provide any service to you despite paying taxes: "(the federal government) ... is under no obligation to provide services. Even so elementary a service as maintaining law and order..." Bowers v. Devito - Supreme court decision (JG)

Related: Taxation Is Extortion, Public Property.