One of the major criticisms of the British government that led to the American War for Independence was "taxation without representation." Why are people who are not eligible to vote taxed? Isn't taxing unrepresented people contrary to one of the major reasons why the US exists?
First, if you make non-voters* pay less taxes or no taxes, you are in some way making it profitable not to be able to vote, especially for poorer parts of the population, who would exchange their right of representation for desperately needed money. This census suffrage is what the 24th amendment of the US constitution aims to prevent.
You may argue that gaining the right to vote is not voluntary for a person, so there cannot be an incentive for something you can’t choose to do. Well, that’s usually what the text of the law says, but in practice it’s not that clear: You can “mistakenly” lose your ID card, or not register, and use that as a way to lose your ability to vote; there’s always loopholes like that. And rich people would have an incentive not fix those loopholes, so that poor people get the financial incentive not to vote. Not to mention the fact that felons are usually refused the right to vote, so poor people could also be incentivized to commit misdemeanors just serious enough to restrict them from voting.
Also, as a consequence of that consequence, elected officials wouldn’t have an incentive for helping the poor, because it wouldn’t bring them votes in the next election. For the same reason, having IQ tests, an upper age or similar limits for the right to vote is a bad idea – all the disenfranchized people would just get ignored by most of the political class.
Second, non-voting people still use roads, which are fixed using public money. So, making them pay for what they use seems fair.
There’s also work-related taxes and social contributions. These may be specific to France, but a part of the salary gets allocated to a social-security fund which pays pensions, medical care for work-related illnesses or injuries, maternity leaves, and some other things. Regardless of whether you’re a national or whether you are a voter*, you have access to these services, so it’s fair that you pay for that with a part of your salary.
* I use that term from a rights point of view, not a practice point of view
This seems like a false equivalence. No taxation without representation wasn't because some residents of the colonies couldn't vote.
It was because being a resident automatically meant you paid without having a say in your government. And you could not change that status.
(1) The phrase “no taxation without representation” was a rallying cry of many American colonists during the period of British rule in the 1760s and early 1770s. The slogan gained widespread notoriety after the passage of the Sugar Act on April 5, 1764.
(2) American colonists increasingly resented having taxes levied upon them without having any legislators they elected who were voting in Parliament in London. The idea that there should be no taxation without representation dated back even further. Benjamin Franklin stated, “it is suppos’d an undoubted Right of Englishmen not to be taxed but by their own Consent given thro’ their Representatives.”.
Is a system where non-voting immigrants pay no taxes a viable system? It certainly doesn't sound, to me, like a system that will produce a society that welcomes immigrants.
OK, you tell me, some jurisdictions allow non-citizens to vote in local elections. Letting aside that this is not a universally welcomed idea
*, local spending and local taxes are typically much lower than national-level taxes and spending.
* in a well-run country, non-citizen residents should enjoy pretty much all the rights of citizens and have a path to attain citizenship, should they wish to do so. The difference, for some people, is then pretty much the right to vote. Others may feel the right to vote should be extended to all residents, but I don't know of any country that fully does that, for all levels of governments.
The EU allowing that is a) limited to local elections and b) takes place in a regional context of a voluntary supranational government (the EU) to which national governments have already transferred some rights (immigration management, via Schengen and the principle of free movement). And, it is limited to EU nationals:
If you want to vote in municipal elections in the country where you live,
As an EU national, you will be voting under the same conditions as nationals of the country where you live.
Finally, to be clear, this answer was written before the question got edited to mention felons. It was written from the PoV that exempting non-voters from taxation seems like a really bad idea.
Reasons to withhold voting rights? Well, immigrant vs. citizen status seems reasonable enough. For the rest, that wasn't what I was answering about because it wasn't in the original question. And, for the record, I don't support felon disenfranchisement: it's petty, vengeful and hinders reinsertion.
One of the major criticisms of the British government that led to the American War for Independence was "taxation without representation." Why are people who are not eligible to vote taxed?
Non-voters (children, immigrants) are still represented by their state and national representative and senators in a way that the American colonies were not in the British Parliament.
For example, apportionment is based on total population, not eligible voters.
While the interest of an individual person in government in representing these classes of people probably varies immensely, children frequently do write their representatives. A quick Google didn't show me how representatives interact with non-citizens, but some websites offered help with immigration services, which suggests a US House member would respond to a resident non-citizen's request for help with federal immigration agencies.
The catchphrase was not about letting everybody who paid (direct or indirect) taxes vote. It was about a very specific group of mostly-WASP, reasonably affluent men who wanted the vote for themselves.
At the time of the American Revolution, women, African-Americans, and Native Americans were not allowed to vote. Others who immigrated were expected to naturalize if they wanted to vote, which was possible in about the time between two elections. Concepts like the Green Card did not exist.
Since then, political views changed greatly, and it would be silly to apply 18th century standards to 21st century policies.