Comment: a toll vs a tax

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a toll vs a tax

A toll is a fee for a service. It is used to pay for expenses. There is a direct relationship between the toll and the use of the road.
A sales tax, on the other hand is not directly connected to any promised service. It is simple a demand on the part of government to part of the proceeds of an otherwise private transaction.

A toll road owner is in business to make money from his asset. If he puts the toll too high, nobody will use the road and he makes no money. If access to the destination is needed and it is economically profitable, other means of access will be created: a ferry, a helicopter, a tunnel, another road, a bridge.

Assuming the objective of the toll road owner is simply to acquire your property by denying access, you may be forced to sell if no other satisfactory means of access can be found. The property will drop in value because of that.

You would have been a fool to buy property to which you had no access. If the toll road changed hands and the block to the property comes after you purchased the property, it would be likely that part of the toll road transaction would include access rights to those who own property accessible by the road. (It would have been foolish to buy property to which it was only accessible by a private road without some guaranteed easement.) Any attempt to block access after that would likely result in a suit over the loss in property value that resulted.

Add the suits to the loss in income due to the high toll nobody will pay, and the road becomes a liability to the owner.

The bottom line is a sales tax is theft based on a monopoly on coercion. It is not voluntary. It isn't directly associated with any service or value added to the transaction.

A private toll is a fee for service. It is directly related to the use of the road and subject to market forces. The owner may make irrational policies related to the use of the road, but, in a free market, will likely be driven out of business by market forces.

[F]orce can only settle questions of power, not of right. - Clyde N. Wilson