Air Travel Tax?
Just for the sake of entertainment, I always read up on the multitudes of ways governments tax the people. I really shouldn't call it entertainment, because it's actually sort of depressing, but comical nonetheless.
I recently came across an article about the Netherlands, here.
Someone thought that taxing a person's choice to fly in an airplane was a good idea. I will be honest and say that I have not followed up on how this played out (this article was from last year). I don't have high hopes of what I will see.
This is just another countless example of how government will tax anything. There is always some reason for it, but those reasons are never truly justified when taxation causes the kinds of burdens and problems we see with evasion, corruption, cost of the tax itself, and unethical actions.
As I mention in the book, throughout history, government has taxed everything from molasses to animals, grain to fish, stamps to wine, funerals to paint, and even people themselves, and that is just the very tip of the iceberg. The kicker is how this has been happening for thousands of years! There is simply nothing that governments won't tax. I am reminded of that Beatles song, "If you drive a car, I'll tax the street. If you try to sit, I'll tax your seat. If you get too cold, I'll tax the heat. If you take a walk, I'll tax your feet."
Apparently, the Beatles had the foresight to think of vehicles, when it came to tax possibilities to include in their song, but an airplane wasn't one of them. Historically, the incredibly long list of items and services that governments have taxed also could not have included an air traveling vehicle, since that is just a recent development in human evolution.
Finally, this glaring omission from the historical list of taxed items and services that people have endured for all time has been updated. Bravo! (Sarcasm). I'm sure there is still something lacking, however, and I have no doubt that a resourceful government will figure that out soon enough.
Before this happens, let's realize that if there was ever a reason for non-tax revenue, it's this (and so many more). You can tax anything. There is no limitation, as long as someone in charge agrees, and they always agree because that puts money in their pockets. Non-tax revenue, on the other hand, has to have a basis for existence other than because someone wants to put a tax on it. Other than fines, non-tax revenue can't simply be placed on something. They have to be in the form of a service provided by the government itself, or something that people can voluntarily choose to give to (usually with an incentive of getting something in return other than bloated government). Even fines have a solid reason for generating revenue, to respond to law breaking as it occurs. Taxes don't do this, especially not with the benefits of empowerment and independence that non-tax revenue provides.
More non-tax revenue means less likelihood of the air you breath being taxed in the near future, while you travel through it and being taxed for doing so.