User fees are in reality taxes and allows the government to fool the people that they aren't raising their taxes. This I can prove because "user fee" increases were raised by the Peoria County Board so in effect we could make the user pay more. A paid, naturally, "consultant" was hired who studied what other counties were charging and what was allowed by Springfield and fees were proportionally raised. The argument was and is somewhat valid that all people don't fly, therefore the ones that do fly should pay more, etc.
The major he argument was the charges didn't cover costs.. At the same time Peoria County was providing security at BELOW Peoria County costs to small towns who claimed they couldn't justify their own security.
Think this wasn't about getting the vote from these small towns when, say, the sheriff and the County Board member serving that area, are up for election??
If I recall, this was one of the few times I went along with the "herd" vote. (Think the riverfront museum and FireFly, both of which I strongly opposed for factual reasons.)
Fees, like public services, payroll and pensions, once raised, never go down although a feeble attempt is being made to control out of control pensions.
Think about it. In the end, most airlines charge countless fees. And these flying tax fees are going up very soon as part of the Democrat-Republican weak comprimised budget bill. Look at your phone bill, (all utilities) the garbage user fee, so "user fees" eventually includes all people even the dead. Study especially the fees added on to your landline bill (AT &T) . All of these "user fees" are taxes, plain and simple.
As an aside, look at the large late charge from AT&T. If you are only one day late, you pay approximately 7.9% extortion fee. It is very true that many people can't pay their bills on time often for very legitimate reasons. So the rich get richer and the poor are definitely getting poorer in the good old U.S.A.
So sad for the poor who really try to make ends meet.