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The Importance of Tax in Our Life Essay (Critical Writing)


Introduction

Tax is one of the ways for authorities in the public sector to raise revenue to run their projects. Public administrations are charged with the development of sufficient revenue to finance programs that benefit the society; hence, they have to either raise the money through investments or apply levies on various commodities to generate the funds. The government can also introduce taxes with the aim of aligning the behavior of various entities with a given policy.

For instance, carbon taxes are used to compel different entities to reduce the impact of their business processes on the environment1. In the case under analysis, authorities in Cook County, Chicago, introduced a controversial tax on sweetened beverages in the soft drink field. Taxes are meant to generate revenue or to regulate the behavior of different entities; hence, the actual purpose of a new tax should be communicated to the public.

Importance of Tax

Lawmakers in the county responded to the pressure from citizens and various lobbying groups that had reviewed the nature and effects of the proposed tax. It is apparent that the tax was meant to reduce the consumption of sweetened soft drinks with the hope that consumers would be discouraged by the increased prices of the products2. However, the tax was not effective in attaining the intended health promotion objective because consumers could easily drive to the nearby towns outside the county and shop for the drinks.

A critical view of the tax reveals that its intention was not to boost health outcomes for the citizens of Cook County, but to help the administration in raising about $1.8 billion annually to increase its budget3. The government has been facing challenges in raising the required funds for the budget, and it is apparent that the only option it has is the development of new taxes that help in raising the deficit. Economic principles reveal that whenever an administration is facing deficits in its annual budget, there are some options that it may pursue to raise the required money4.

Taxes directly involve citizens in contributing to public programs run by the government5. However, the government is always limited by various policies when it comes to the introduction of taxes6. The policies are meant to ensure that the administration does not introduce laws that exploit the public in an unfair manner. For instance, in Cook County, the local government observes laws that dictate against the development of additional sales taxes on commodities7. The associated lawmakers had to introduce the tax at the point of sale, which was quite a bad choice because it would exempt all consumers using food stamps as stipulated by the law.

This case reveals that while taxes are necessary for boosting the capabilities of the government in meeting its obligations and plans, they have to be introduced in a manner that shows legitimacy and appropriate reasoning on the part of the proponents8. The tax on sweetened fizzy drinks was banned because its legitimacy was questionable. First, the administration did not have a solid reason for introducing the tax. Secondly, the intentions of the tax were concealed through the claim that the tax was meant to enhance health outcomes for the citizens of Cook County.

Conclusion

The Cook County administration demonstrated that it is always necessary for the authorities to look into introducing legitimate taxes. By introducing the tax, the government intended to raise more money to boost its budget, rather than promote health outcomes as the leaders claimed. Taxes are normally applied to finance government projects by raising revenue or regulating certain behaviors on the part of various entities.

Bibliography

Auerbach, Alan, Raj Chetty, Martin Feldstein, and Emmanuel Saez, eds. Handbook of Public Economics. Vol. 5. Boston: Newnes, 2013.

The Economist, 2017. Web.

Lawton, Amy. “Green Taxation Theory in Practice: The 2012 Reform of the Carbon Reduction Commitment.” Environmental Law Review 18, no. 2 (2016): 126-141.

Lu, Xiaobo, and Kenneth Scheve. “Self-Centered Inequity Aversion and the Mass Politics of Taxation.” Comparative Political Studies 49, no. 14 (2016): 1965-1997.

Rood, Deborah K. “The Importance of Tax Quality Control.” Journal of Accountancy 219, no. 4 (2015): 24.

Saad, Natrah. “Tax Knowledge, Tax Complexity and Tax Compliance: Taxpayers’ View.” Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences 109, no.1 (2014):1069-1075.

Footnotes

  1. Amy Lawton, “Green Taxation Theory in Practice: The 2012 Reform of the Carbon Reduction Commitment,” Environmental Law Review 18, no. 2 (2016): 126-141.
  2. “Chicago’s Soda Tax Is Repealed,” The Economist, 2017. Web.
  3. “Chicago’s Soda Tax Is Repealed.”
  4. Natrah Saad, “Tax Knowledge, Tax Complexity and Tax Compliance: Taxpayers’ View,” Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences 109, no.1 (2014):1069-1075.
  5. Alan J. Auerbach et al., eds., Handbook of Public Economics, Vol. 5 (Boston: Newnes, 2013), 4.
  6. Deborah K. Rood, “The Importance of Tax Quality Control,” Journal of Accountancy 219, no. 4 (2015): 24.
  7. “Chicago’s Soda Tax Is Repealed.”
  8. Xiaobo Lu and Kenneth Scheve, “Self-Centered Inequity Aversion and the Mass Politics of Taxation,” Comparative Political Studies 49, no. 14 (2016): 1965-1997.
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IvyPanda. (2020, October 31). The Importance of Tax in Our Life. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-importance-of-tax-in-our-life/

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1. IvyPanda. "The Importance of Tax in Our Life." October 31, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-importance-of-tax-in-our-life/.


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IvyPanda. "The Importance of Tax in Our Life." October 31, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-importance-of-tax-in-our-life/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "The Importance of Tax in Our Life." October 31, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-importance-of-tax-in-our-life/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'The Importance of Tax in Our Life'. 31 October.

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