Number of Americans Who Say Their Income Taxes Are Fair At Lowest Point Since 2001

Photo credit: numberstumper / Foter.com / CC BY-SAPhoto credit: numberstumper / Foter.com / CC BY-SAAbout 55 percent of Americans say the income taxes they pay are fair, according to a poll by Gallup. That's fewer than any year since 2001, when just 51 percent said their income taxes were fair, and down from a high of 64 percent in 2003, right after a tax rate cut under President George W. Bush. 

Political affiliations turn out to correspond to perceptions about tax rates more than income: 

Perceptions of income tax fairness, perhaps surprisingly, vary little by household income level. Fifty-seven percent of those whose annual household income level is below $75,000 say their taxes are fair, as do 54% of those whose income is $75,000 or above.

In fact, there are no notable differences by most major demographic groups. The biggest differences are based on political affiliation, with Democrats and political liberals much more likely than Republicans and conservatives to believe their taxes are fair.

Gallup also asked respondents whether they thought their taxes were "too high." Half said they were—up from a record low of 46 percent last year. Another 45 percent said they about right.

Two percent, meanwhile, responded that their taxes were "too low." Must be tough. On the other hand, they always have the opportunity to pay more

(Via The Transom.)

A bit of morning listening for this tax day:

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • ||

    Fifty-seven percent of those whose annual household income level is below $75,000 say their taxes are fair are idiots, as do are 54% of those whose income is $75,000 or above.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    FLAT TAX!

  • John Galt||

    Fat Tax.

  • Matrix||

    There's nothing fair about stealing taxing people's paychecks.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    I wonder if the number of commenters who say that the alt-text is fair is the lowest since 2001 as well.

    Gallup also asked respondents whether they thought their taxes were "too high."

    So I assume they are not taking any deductions?

  • some guy||

    "Fair" is such a subjective weasel word. Some people will be comparing their taxes to the benefits they receive. Some will be comparing their taxes this year to their taxes last year. Some will be comparing their taxes to those of the "rich" or the "poor". Some will be thinking only of their refund, not of the actual amount paid. Plus we're only talking about income taxes here. What do people think about all the other taxes they pay?

    I don't think this poll's value is significantly different from zero.

  • John||

    Taxes are unfair. But I don't think they are unfair in the way that most of the people responding to this survey think they are. They are unfair because nearly half the country doesn't pay any income tax and the top 5% pay nearly all of the taxes.

  • Matrix||

    why do you hate the poor and middle class, John?

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    why do you hate the poor and middle class, John?

    Because they don't pay taxes, obviously.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Let me tell you how it will be.
    There's one for you, nineteen for me,
    'Cause I'm the taxman, yeah, I'm the taxman.

    Should five per cent appear too small,
    Be thankful I don't take it all,
    'Cause I'm the taxman, yeah I'm the taxman.

    If you drive a car, I'll tax the street,
    If you try to sit, I'll tax your seat.
    If you get too cold I'll tax the heat,
    If you take a walk, I'll tax your feet.

    Don't ask me what I want it for,
    If you don't want to pay some more,
    'Cause I'm the taxman, yeah, I'm the taxman.

    Now my advice for those who die,
    Declare the pennies on your eyes,
    'Cause I'm the taxman, yeah, I'm the taxman.
    And you're working for no one but me.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    They should tax pythons.

  • Pro Libertate||

    The power to tax is the power to destroy. Or so I have heard.

  • Jerryskids||

    A 'fair' price- by definition I think -is one both parties to the transaction agree to. The day the IRS and the state revenue people talk to me about how much I would like to pay in taxes is the day I will pay my fair share. Anybody who thinks it's fair to have at least the threat of a gun held to your head and commanded to surrender even a penny is an immoral retard.

  • Zeb||

    Asking people whether or not something is fair has to be about the most meaningless poll question possible. Everyone has their own idea of what fair means, and it mostly means whatever the person talking wants to happen.

  • Bean Counter||

    Since 47% don't pay ANY freaking income tax at all, that means that:
    1. Only 8% of those who pay think its fair, or
    2. Some of the 47% think nothing is too much, or
    3. There is a problem with the sampling mechanism, or
    4. Most respondents are too stupid to understand the question, or
    5. The typical American has no idea how much tax they're paying, or
    6. THIS IS A STUPID, POINTLESS POLL.
    Since I heard a woman at a Jackson Hewitt office complaining that "They're taxing the Hell out of me!" because she only got $4,000 dollars of freebies from her grandchildren, instead of the $6,000 she got the previous year, I'm going with 2, 4 and 6.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement