SC Department of Revenue
Why Do We Pay Taxes?


                                     Why Do We Pay Taxes?                                          

Everyone pays taxes in one form or another- mostly income and sales taxes.
  But why
do we pay these taxes?

There are many services offered to citizens that could not be managed effectively
under any other system.

The federal government uses your tax dollars to support Social Security, health care,
national defense and social services such as food stamps and housing.

Services provided by taxes in South Carolina are public schools, safe highways, health
care, prisons and social services for low-income citizens.  The city or county where
you live provides water and garbage service, police and fire protection and also
contributes to public schools.

We can all admit that these services are necessary.  But why must they be paid for
with taxes?  Why shouldn't we just pay individually for what we use?  The answer is
simple:  Because no one could afford it.  Each person would have to pay the full fee for
the service regardless of their ability to pay. 

Our tax system is based on our "ability to pay."  The more money we earn, the more
taxes we pay.  And the opposite is also true.  If we earn a small income, we pay less

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