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Economic Definition of user charge. Defined.

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Term user charge Definition: A tax that's disguised as a price--a charge for the use of a publicly provided good. Government produces and supplies a number of near-public goods, like education, libraries, parks, and transportation systems. The "prices" for these goods are user charges. The logic is that people who benefit from the good and are willing to pay, should pay for them. While this helps pay production costs, it tends to be inefficient.

 

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