- Johann Heinrich Gottlob von Justi (1720-1771) wrote in 1766 in his ‘System des Finanzwessens’ that; given that no state can exist without expenses and that no modern state is completely self-funding, contributions (taxes) from the subjects (taxpayers) become necessary, and that six principles of taxation should always be adhered to.
- Subjects (taxpayers) must be in a position to pay the taxes without depriving themselves of necessities nor taking from their capital and that an authority which deprives taxpayers of the protection of civil societies (viz protection of the necessities of life and of their property or capital) ceases to be a legitimate authority and becomes a tyranny.
- Contributions (taxes) must be levied with complete equality and just proportions. This is rarely achieved with the very rich mostly contributing very little and the very poor nothing, so the bulk of the burden falls on the middle class.
- The method of collecting contributions (taxes) should be such that the welfare of the state and the subjects and civil freedom suffer no harm.
- Contributions (taxes) should be organised according to the nature of the state and the forms of government. That is, the taxes need to support the institutions of the state and must not be skimmed, for example, by collecting agents and agencies.
- Contributions (taxes) must be certain and honest, fixed definitely and clear to all, so contributors know both the purpose and the amount of the contribution (tax), again adding certainty to the process and discouraging dishonesty in the collection process.
- Contributions (taxes) should be collected in the easiest and most convenient way and with as little expense as possible, both to the state and the subjects (taxpayers).
(Source: Early Economic Thought ISBN 0-486-44793-6 (pbk) pp 377 – 399)
Those thoughts were expressed almost 250 years ago and are just as relevant today.
- It is clear to the Direct Democracy Forum that current tax systems (including but not limited to E-Tolls) mostly do not satisfy those principles, whereas TEAL (Total Economic Activity Levy) mostly does.
- If only for that reason, the DDF are determined to do all in their power to introduce TEAL as the only tax in South Africa.
The buck stops at the ballot box