However, state revenues continued to shrink, as taxpayers invested increasing amounts of time, effort and money in tax evasion schemes. Thus even as tax rates rose, tax revenues fell, hastening the decline of the Roman state (Bernardi 1970: 81—3). In short, taxpayers evaded taxation by withdrawing from society altogether. Large, powerful landowners, able to avoid taxation through legal or illegal means, began to organize small communities around them.
How Excessive Government Killed Ancient Rome