User Fee

Definition of 'User Fee'


A sum of money paid by the individual who chooses to access a service or facility. Examples of user fees include highway tolls, parking charges and national park entry fees. With user fees, the individual directly pays for something he wants and receives what he has paid for. In contrast, taxes must be paid by force and do not necessarily go toward a specific service or facility that an individual actually uses or benefits from.

Investopedia explains 'User Fee'


Because user fees are more palatable than taxes, politicians may sometimes try to disguise taxes as user fees. However, sometimes the line between user fees and taxes is blurred, as in the case of gasoline taxes being used to fund the Interstate Highway System. Government services and facilities that are supported by user fees instead of by taxes more closely resemble private businesses because it is apparent whether a true demand exists for those services and facilities.


Filed Under:

comments powered by Disqus
Hot Definitions
  1. Odious Debt

    Money borrowed by one country from another country and then misappropriated by national rulers. A nation's debt becomes odious debt when government leaders use borrowed funds in ways that don't benefit or even oppress citizens. Some legal scholars argue that successor governments should not be held accountable for odious debt incurred by earlier regimes, but there is no consensus on how odious debt should actually be treated.
  2. Takeover

    A corporate action where an acquiring company makes a bid for an acquiree. If the target company is publicly traded, the acquiring company will make an offer for the outstanding shares.
  3. Harvest Strategy

    A strategy in which investment in a particular line of business is reduced or eliminated because the revenue brought in by additional investment would not warrant the expense. A harvest strategy is employed when a line of business is considered to be a cash cow, meaning that the brand is mature and is unlikely to grow if more investment is added.
  4. Stop-Limit Order

    An order placed with a broker that combines the features of stop order with those of a limit order. A stop-limit order will be executed at a specified price (or better) after a given stop price has been reached. Once the stop price is reached, the stop-limit order becomes a limit order to buy (or sell) at the limit price or better.
  5. Pareto Principle

    A principle, named after economist Vilfredo Pareto, that specifies an unequal relationship between inputs and outputs. The principle states that, for many phenomena, 20% of invested input is responsible for 80% of the results obtained. Put another way, 80% of consequences stem from 20% of the causes.
  6. Pareto Principle

    A principle, named after economist Vilfredo Pareto, that specifies an unequal relationship between inputs and outputs. The principle states that, for many phenomena, 20% of invested input is responsible for 80% of the results obtained. Put another way, 80% of consequences stem from 20% of the causes.
Trading Center