So much for Forbes as a reliable source for anything that requires historical context regarding the time of Christ.
Herod did the same thing the Romans did, they told those in charge of a city or province what the total they expected was and left it to the locals to come up with that amount of money or in kind tribute any way they liked. In Jerusalem, just like in Rome and almost all other provinces and cities, it was wealthy folks who bought the right to collect taxes by paying that lump sum up front then recovering their money and a profit however they liked. If someone failed to pay the tax collector, he told his superiors who were independent entrepreneurs and who had the legal authority to have their ownb armed men. If that wasn't sufficient, the person holding the right to collect taxes could petition the Roman authorities for military help or whatever the Romans thought was appropriate. Fairly often the Romans sent someone to investigate reports of unfair taxation practices and ended up taking the authority to collect taxes away from someone who was going too far and handing it over to someone else. There were also cities where the leading citizens and businessmen pooled their resources, paid the lump sum to get the right to control taxation, then put a minimum sales tax on things in their city to make it an attractive place to do business. Rome didn't care one way or another as long at they got the lump sum up front from the party who would be responsible for actually hiring tax collectors and collecting taxes. Sometimes Rome started the bidding for the collection rights at about 95% of what it thought was the right amount of taxation for an area and anyone could bid on the rights. In the more prosperous areas, several families were traditionally taking turns at having the right to collect taxes with there being no chance that anyone other than the old Roman families ever replacing them. Herod probably favored a few families or groups he wanted to win over.
Rome dictated a lump sum it wanted from a given area and it was up to the individual entrepreneurs or group of entrepreneurs how they got that money, produce, or labor, along with a profit. Zacchaeus is an extremely poor choice of examples for someone to use as a representative of a Marxist or Socialist state, or any sort of government at all in fact. Given the fact that Herod followed the Roman model and sold the right to collect taxes to individual capitalists. Zacchaeus was a shining example of Capitalism or Crony Capitalism in action, not Marxism or Socialism. He had to deliver a portion of the total the people with the right to collect taxes had paid and how much more than that he put in his own pocket was up to him.
Through the Eye of A Needle by Peter Brown (Princeton University Press, 2012) begins with a description of the minimalist system Rome used though out the Empire and other works attribute the military weakness of the later Eastern Empire to the fact that local businessmen often refused to collect taxes for the Emperor and therefore the Empire went without those revenues. When Constantinople fell, in fact, a group of the wealthy folks who survived were executed by the Muslim victor because they had refused to aid the Empire by collecting taxes for them and therefore were totally untrustworthy in the eyes of their new master.
Empire of Honour : The Art of Government in the Roman World by J. Lendon (Oxford University Press, 1997) discusses this same point regarding tax collection being a field where individual entrepreneurs often began to build their personal fortunes in greater detail. It also makes it clear just how minimalist the central government was prior to the fall of the Western portion of the Empire and how it remained hobbled in many ways by the fact it was dependent on capitalist approaches to government function right up until the fall of Constantinople.
A number of the lecture series available on-line from various universities also make this point about the :inefficient Roman tax system" in both their descriptions of the Roman Empire and in their descriptions of what various Kings were trying to reinstate in the Medieval period when they handled taxation much the same way. Their their nobles were told what they had to deliver and how they came up with that amount was left up to them.
Reading through comments about this very poorly researched article isn't glaringly obvious that the same folks who each interpret Scripture to suit their Self enjoy having history rewritten to suit their Self as well. Obviously, it never occurred to anyone to check whether the author of the article knew anything about the system of tax collection during the time in question because like the author, they didn't want facts to get in the way of yelling slanders at the Pope and Catholics. Sticking to the facts and the truth wouldn't make the point the author wanted to have as his truth, so he made up a new truth to support his version of Scripture and lots since that "truth" sells, it's the new "truth" for the Self Alone volk.
That's the way Self Alone works across the board. It infects everything, not just the interpretation of Scripture. Whatever twisting and revising of reality it takes to sell a personal interpretation of Scripture that suits your own, Most High and Holy Self, do the twisting and revising then move on to the next slander, half-truth, or lie fast as you can exactly like Martin Luther said to.
This sort of question begging railing of Roman Catholics at Evangelicals/Protestants, and sometimes vice versa, probably isn’t going to go away any time soon.