Book Chapter

The Tax State, Benefit and Legitimacy

Miranda Stewart

Studies in the History of Tax law | Hart Publishing | Published : 2015


This chapter traces the discursive history of the principles of benefit and legitimacy of taxation from the late eighteenth century to the present day. Drawing on the work of scholars from Adam Smith through Richard Musgrave to public choice theorists, it is observed that the evolution of successful tax states, especially democratic states, seems to depend on both an acceptance by taxpayers of benefits derived under government and a fiscal constitution that limits taxing power. The chapter argues for a renewed focus on principles of benefit and legitimacy of taxation to find successful democratic tax states in the global era.

University of Melbourne Researchers