Gallup: 52% of Americans Say Federal Income Taxes Too High

By Susan Jones | April 15, 2014 | 7:53am EDT

(AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

( - Just in time for tax deadline day, a new Gallup poll finds that a majority of Americans -- 52 percent -- say they pay too much federal income tax, while 42 percent say they amount they pay is "about right." Three percent said their federal taxes are "too low."

Gallup says the percentage who say their taxes are "too high" has hovered around 50 percent since 2003, although the current 52 percent is up from the 46 percent who said "too high" two years ago.

While a slim majority of Americans say their federal tax burden is too high, roughly the same percentage (54 percent) also say their taxes are fair. However, the view that taxes are fair is becoming less common, and, at 54 percent this year, is down to its lowest point since 2001 -- after peaking at 64 percent in 2003.

Looking at the partisan divide, Democrats were the only group in which a majority, 55 percent, said their taxes are "about right." A majority of Republicans and independents said their taxes are "too high." Furthermore, Democrats (69 percent) were significantly more likely than Republicans (46 percent) and independents (51 percent) to say their taxes are fair.

Six in 10 upper-income Americans -- those earning $75,000 or more annually -- believe their taxes are too high, and the majority consider what they pay unfair. By contrast, barely half of middle- and lower-income Americans think their taxes are too high, and the majority consider them fair.

The bottom line: Gallup says 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, especially among upper-income Americans.

The uptick also may reflect overall discontent with the federal government, Congress, and the Affordable Care Act, Gallup said.

"As political leaders discuss ways to simplify the tax code, the federal government also may want to revisit the amount of money Americans pay in taxes," Gallup concluded.

Gallup based its poll results on telephone interviews conducted April 3-6, 2014, on the Gallup Daily tracking survey, with a random sample of 1,026 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

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