Toll booths are a good example of government foolishness. The argument for them is that they enable the tax to be a user fee. The users pay the tax, like when a fee is charged to visit a park.
But that argument is dwarfed by the counterarguments. Indeed, if I were deliberately trying to create a foolish way to tax, I couldn't think of a worse way than toll booths: They
- steal people's time.
- increase air pollution
- waste gas
- are regressive: the poor pay the most painful amount of tax.
Of course, that means that drivers living in toll-free counties that drive across toll bridges and tunnels get a free ride. But that imperfection in taxation is far smaller than the imperfections cited above.