A tax is a fee that must be paid to the state. Failure to pay is an offense punishable by law. Taxes pay for everything the government does: From paying its employees to purchasing tanks and building schools.
So you've got yourself a job, and now the man is taking money out of your damn paycheck. They're charging you for making money: The more you make, the more they take. It's like a gym membership or magazine subscription you can't get rid of, legally. What do you get for your money? Federal income taxes cover good stuff, in no particular order, like:
Your state income taxes cover similar stuff, on a state level, and on a much smaller scale.
In 1773 England was being kinda dickish to her American colonies. They levied taxes on almost everything, including tea. As we were still English ourselves, we loved our tea. Nevermind that the country had almost bankrupted itself fighting the French, in part to keep French backed Indians from slaughtering English colonists.The colonies realized England had done them a solid so it wasn't so much about the colonies not wanting to pay taxes, they didn't like the idea of paying taxes without some kind of voice in the English Parliment. That's why the original participants of this party repeated the phrase "No taxation without representation!" as they threw tea into Boston Harbor.