One day before Americans are required to file their taxes, on April 15, more than half of all Americans say their federal income taxes are too high.
In a Gallup poll released Monday, 52 percent of respondents said they think the amount of federal taxes they pay is too high. Another 42 percent said their taxes were “about right,” and a mere 3 percent responded that their taxes were too low.
For about a decade, some 50 percent of Americans have felt that their taxes were too high. Before former President George W. Bush’s 2003 income tax cuts, however, the number was much higher. From 1963 until Bush’s time in office, more than 60 percent of Americans routinely said that their taxes were too high, with the highest point coming at 69 percent in 1969.
A separate poll from Gallup shows that American views on state taxes are a little more nuanced. Residents in New York and New Jersey, for instance, are overwhelmingly likely to say that their state taxes are too high, with 77 percent of respondents in each state hoping for lower state taxes.
Other areas of the country have much more tax-supportive citizens, however. Only 19 percent of Wyoming residents are likely to say their state taxes are too high, while 21 percent of Alaskans would say the same. (It should be noted, however, that Wyoming has no income tax at all while Alaska taxes only corporate, not individual, income.)
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Though most Americans think they pay too much in taxes, a similar amount seems to believe that their high taxes are also fair. This year, 54 percent of Americans said they paid a fair amount of income tax, while only 41 percent believed their share was unfair. This year marks the lowest point in Americans’ views of taxes as being fair since 2001, however. In 2003, a sizable 64 percent of Americans said they paid a fair amount of taxes.
Interestingly, there is a strong partisan divide on the issue of taxes. While Republicans and independents are about equally likely to think their taxes are too high, by 57 percent and 58 percent, respectively, Democrats are far more likely to be content with their taxes. A majority of 55 percent of Democrats say their taxes are about right, while only 37 percent say they are too high.
Though only a small percentage of Americans are likely to say that their taxes are too low, Democrats also have the largest percentage of respondents who would pay more in taxes: 5 percent. Only 1 percent of Republicans and 3 percent of independents responded similarly.
Richer people, meanwhile, are also more likely to say that their taxes are too high. 49 percent of Americans making less than $30,000 and 46 percent of Americans making between $30,000 and $74,999 said their taxes were too high in 2014, but 61 percent of Americans making more than $75,000 a year said they paid too much taxes. Only a scant 1 percent of upper-income Americans said their taxes were too low in 2014.