New Survey on Americans’ Opinions of the Tax System

April 12, 2007

Just five days from the April 17th tax deadline, we’ve released our third annual survey of U.S. opinions about taxes. You can read the full report here, or just browse the topline survey data here.

As you finish filling out your own tax returns, here are a couple of my favorite questions from the survey that explore the value we receive from government services in exchange for our annual tax burdens. Enjoy:

Q605. What is the maximum percentage of a person’s income that should go to taxes – that is, all taxes, state, federal, and local?

2007

2006

2005

Unweighted Base

2,012

2,017

2,013

100%

*

90% – 99%

*

*

80% – 89%

*

*

70% – 79%

*

*

60% – 69%

*

*

50% – 59%

2%

1%

2%

40% – 49%

1%

1%

3%

30% – 39%

6%

6%

7%

20% – 29%

20%

22%

23%

10% – 19%

47%

43%

41%

1% – 9%

22%

24%

20%

0%

2%

1%

3%

MEAN

14.7

15

16

Source: Tax Foundation

Q610. Thinking about all the government services you use during a year – national defense, roads, public schools, food stamps, Social Security, police protection and so on – how much would you say these are worth to you in dollars for one year? That is, how much would you be willing to pay for all the services provided to you by governments for one year?

Total

Unweighted Base

2,012

$0 – 1000

43%

$1001 – 10000

46%

$10001 – 50000

9%

$51000 – 99999

1%

$100000+

1%

MEAN

$7243.80

Source: Tax Foundation

Q615. Considering all government services on the one hand and taxes on the other, which of the following statements comes closest to your view?

Total

Unweighted Base

2,012

Keep taxes and services about where they are

41%

Decrease services and lower taxes

32%

Increase services and raise taxes

8%

Not sure

20%

Source: Tax Foundation

Read the full 12-page summary of the survey here.


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