geezer......its a great debate and discussion to have and i will agree it all falls under overpaying the government for services that never live up to the amount you spend lol.......however i do feel there are small differences..........
here is a good read on this subject .....http://www.clearthebenchcolorado.org/2009/07/16/when-is-a-fee-not-a-tax-when-the-mullarkey-court-says-so/
A fee is a charge for use of a service or amenity – the amount of which is related to the cost of providing that service or amenity. Thus, licensing fees for hunting and fishing help fund game wardens, forestry service personnel, equipment, and property, etc. while fees for visiting state parks similarly help provide for personnel, property, upkeep, and the like. The key feature of fees is that the user of a given good or service pays, and the funds collected are related to the purpose of providing the good or service.
A tax, on the other hand, while it may be applied to a particular good or service or more generally to the population at large, is collected to raise general purpose revenues. Taxes collected may be unrelated, or completely disproportionate, to expenditures. Thus, taxes on sales of goods (alcohol, clothing, etc.) or services (restaurants, dry cleaning, etc.) are not necessarily related to the cost of providing, regulating (e.g. health & safety inspections) or protecting (
, fire, courts, etc.) the goods or services taxed. Government can spend tax revenues on anything it wants. That’s why taxes go into the “General Fund” and expenditures are allocated by the legislative budgetary process.