A Profile of Discontinuity between Citizen Demand and Willingness to Pay Taxes: Comprehensive Planning for Park and Recreation Investment
18 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2003
Growing alienation between citizens and government represents an important challenge to democracy. Resistance to taxation is one of the manifestations of this alienation. The issue is further complicated by citizen demands that exceed their willingness to pay taxes, referred to here as tax-demand discontinuity. This article uses a survey of over 700 citizens designed to provide an information foundation for comprehensive park and recreation planning to test for and profile tax-demand discontinuity. Using combined scores on summated measures of willingness to pay taxes and demand for public investment, citizens are typologically classified into nine groups that are then consolidated under three classifications of tax-demand discontinuity. Citizen-assignments include traditionalists, or those with continuity or balance between willingness to pay taxes and demand; philanthropists, those who are willing to pay taxes in excess of demand; and free-riders, citizens with demands that exceed willingness to pay taxes. Differences in assessments of local government performance are examined in relationship to tax-demand discontinuity classifications indicating that productivity alone will not resolve issues of tax-demand discontinuity. The results indicate differences in citizen subpopulations in tax-demand discontinuity.
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