Evaluating Tax Systems
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One function of government is to provide the goods and services (police, courts, education, roads, economic security, etc) that individuals need and want but are unable to obtain from the private sector. In order to provide these services, the government must impose taxes to pay for them. A state can tax virtually anything that it chooses but the objective is to develop taxes and a tax system that serve the broad needs of society in an efficient, fair and impartial way. Several attributes of taxes are widely accepted as criteria for evaluating the impacts of taxes on society and the economy. These criteria are: economic efficiency, economic competitiveness, administrative simplicity, adequacy, and equity. No tax is ideal with respect to all these criteria and each citizen views the taxes differently based on the taxes they pay and the benefits they receive. Consequently, selecting taxes and designing a tax system for state and local revenues is a process of trade-off and compromise.
Stallmann, J. I. (2004). Evaluating Tax Systems, Report 17-2004. Retrieved 10-12-09, from University of Missouri System, Missouri Legislative Academy Web site: http://www.truman.missouri.edu/ipp/mla/publications/publications.htm
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