Answer to Question #9437 in Economics of Enterprise for Mahmood Ahmed Mattar
how does the ability-to-pay principle of taxation differ from the benefit principle? What problems are encountered in implementing both these tax philosophies ?
The ability-to-pay principle in taxation maintains that taxes should be levied according a taxpayer's ability to pay. This progressive taxation approach places an increased tax burden on individuals, partnerships, companies, corporations, trusts and certain estates with higher incomes. The theory is that individuals who earn more money can afford to pay more in taxes
BENEFIT PRINCIPLE: A principle of taxation in which taxes are based on the benefits received by people using the good financed with the tax. The benefit principle is often difficult to implement because by their very nature, many government produced goods (public goods) do not have easily measured benefits. But in those cases where benefits are identifiable, government is not shy about establishing taxes, fees, or charges in accordance with the benefit principle. Public college tuition, national park admission fees, and gasoline excise taxes are three common examples. The beneficiaries of education, a wilderness experience, and highway use are asked (required) to pay accordingly.