Society

Poll: Most Americans Say Their Tax Bill Is Too High

| by Sean Kelly
CashCash

According to a new Gallup poll, a majority of Americans believe their tax bill is too high.

Prior to the April 18 deadline for taxes to be filed, 57 percent of Americans said they believe they were paying too much in taxes — a six percent increase from the same poll a year earlier. That percentage is also the highest in 15 years, Gallup noted.

“The results, from an April 6-10 Gallup poll, mark the first time since a major tax cut was enacted during the Bush administration in 2001 that more than 53% of Americans have said their taxes are too high,” the poll results read. “In three years during that time (2003, 2009 and 2012), Americans were more likely to say they were paying the right amount than to say they were paying too much. This is something that had not occurred in the 28 times Gallup asked the question from 1956 to 2001.”

Politically speaking, the partisan gap in regard to the fairness of taxes widened as compared to last year. Among Republicans, 73 percent said they believe they pay too much, while 44 percent of Democrats agreed. In addition, 58 percent of women said they pay too much, while 55 percent of men agreed.

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Americans clearly have grown unhappier about their taxes in the past year, and the presidential candidates' various proclamations about tax fairness may be a major factor. The candidate who has made the most news with his tax plans is Bernie Sanders, an independent running as a Democrat. Sanders has charged that the current system gives huge breaks to the rich at the expense of everyone else. His Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, agrees that the rich pay too little in taxes, though her proposed solutions are not as far-reaching. On the Republican side, both Ted Cruz and Donald Trump have complained about the unfairness of the current system and have called for tax cuts.

In looking at this year's increase in the number of people who think they pay the federal government too much in income taxes, it's important to remember that it comes after a period of historically low unhappiness with tax payments. The 57% who this year say they pay too much is only one point higher than the 56% average for the 43 times Gallup has asked the question.

The poll results came prior to news that Illinois has the highest property taxes in the nation, according to a new study. In total, the median property tax rate in Illinois is 2.67 percent, according to a nationwide CoreLogic study, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Sources: Gallup, Chicago Tribune / Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

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