Taxes ‘too high’ but also ‘fair,’ says confused America


Think your taxes are too high? About half of your fellow Americans agree!

But the richer you are, the more you hate taxes.

According to a new Gallup poll, released just one day before taxes are due to the federal government, 52 percent of Americans say the amount they owe in federal taxes is “too high,” while 42 percent say it’s “about right.” A tiny percentage — just 3 percent —say the amount is “too low.”

Back in 1969, a high of 69 percent told Gallup pollsters their taxes were too high, while just 25 percent said they were about right. The gap was also fairly wide (68 percent saying taxes were too high and 28 percent saying they were too low) prior to George W. Bush taking over the presidency.

But perhaps counterintuitively, 54 percent of Americans say their taxes are “fair,” while just 41 percent claim they are “not fair.”

When it comes to party breakdowns, a larger percentage of Democrats say their taxes are “about right” (55 percent) than Republicans (38 percent) or independents (36 percent). Republicans (57 percent) and independents (58 percent) are far more likely to say their taxes are “too high” than are Democrats (37 percent).

And while just 1 percent of Republicans and 3 percent of independents say their taxes are “too low,” 5 percent of Democrats say that.

Republicans by 46 percent say their taxes are fair; 51 percent of independents agree, but 69 percent of Democrats say the same.

When it comes to income breakdowns, however, the fault lines are readily apparent. About half of those who earn less than $30,000 per year say taxes are “too high,” while 41 percent say they’re “about right.” In the $30,000 to $74,999 per year group, 46 percent say taxes are “too high,” with 47 percent saying they’re “about right.”

But 61 percent of people who earn more than $75,000 per year say taxes are “too high” while just 37 percent in that group say they’re “about right.” And 1 percent of that group say taxes are “too low,” the lowest number to say so in any of the three income groups.

“The slight increase this year in Americans’ views that their taxes are too high may reflect an actual increase in taxes, either direct or indirect, that has occurred recently,” Gallup explained. “Specifically, the expiration of the Bush tax cuts increased taxes and eliminated some previous deductions. Upper-income Americans, particularly, may feel their taxes are too high now because their taxes actually may have increased. The uptick also may reflect overall discontent with the federal government, Congress, and high-profile laws such as the Affordable Care Act.”

 

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