The number of Americans who believe that federal income taxes are too high is rising quickly. As recently as April 2020, only 46% of Americans told Gallup pollsters their federal income taxes were too high. In the most recent poll conducted in April 2023, that number shot up to 60%. Gallup’s Jeffrey M. Jones reports:
Americans’ opinions of federal income taxes are the worst Gallup has measured in about two decades.
- Six in 10 Americans say the amount of federal income tax they pay is “too high,” a level last seen in 2001.
- Forty-six percent believe the income tax they pay is fair, essentially tying 1999’s 45% as the lowest in Gallup’s trend. A new high of 51% say their income taxes are not fair.
- More Americans say federal income tax is the worst — or least fair — tax, edging out local property tax.
These results are based on Gallup’s annual Economy and Personal Finance survey, conducted April 3-25.
Growing Percentage Say Income Taxes Are Too High
The 60% of Americans who say the amount of federal income tax they pay is too high is up six percentage points from a year ago and 15 points from the recent low measured in 2018 and 2019. Meanwhile, 36% of Americans say their federal income tax payments are “about right,” while 3% say they are “too low.”
Historically, most shifts in opinion have occurred between the “too high” and “about right” categories, with little change in the percentage “too low.” In all but a few measures, more have said their taxes were too high rather than about right.
Americans were last this critical of income taxes in 2001, before George W. Bush signed the first of two major tax cut laws passed during his term. Since then, no presidents have significantly raised federal income tax rates for lower- and middle-income Americans, but Democratic Presidents Barack Obama and Joe Biden both raised taxes on upper-income Americans and corporations.
Action Line: Americans may be paying more attention to their high tax rates because inflation during the Biden administration has rapidly eroded their disposable income. They are tired of being treated like piggy banks by politicians from the federal level on down to their local municipalities. Click here to subscribe to my free monthly Survive & Thrive letter.
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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