The government gets its money from the people. It uses this money to provide services. This includes things like road construction and maintenance, airport runway maintenance, school bus transportation, teacher salaries, school buildings, healthcare for the needy, regulatory agencies to keep us safe (Food and Drug Administration, Health Inspectors), Animal Control, Police , Fire, and EMS, etc.
There are many kinds of taxes: Payroll taxes, which take part of your salary; Sales taxes, which you pay at the store; and Property taxes, which you would pay if you owned a home. Then there are all sorts of fees and permits which are considered hidden taxes: these are evident on a cell phone bill, for example.