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2005 Annual Survey of U.S. Attitudes on Tax and Wealth

2 min readBy: Scott Hodge, Andrew Chamberlain

Executive Summary
With taxA tax is a mandatory payment or charge collected by local, state, and national governments from individuals or businesses to cover the costs of general government services, goods, and activities. reform a centerpiece of the President’s second-term domestic agenda, the Tax Foundation’s 2005 Annual Survey of U.S. Attitudes on Tax and Wealth conducted by Harris Interactive® shows that a majority of U.S. adults believe taxes are too high, complex, and should be reformed—even if it requires giving up some deductions and exemptions to make taxes simpler.

The survey reveals a broad sense of unfairness regarding the tax system, finding that despite four consecutive years of tax reductions since 2000, 59 percent of U.S. adults today believe they pay more federal income tax as a percentage of income than billionaire Donald Trump. Survey respondents overwhelmingly report federal taxes are too high, too complex, and the value received from the federal government is poor. A majority favors tax reform and is willing to give up some deductions and exemptions if it leads to a simpler tax code.

Survey results are based on a Harris Interactive® online survey conducted on behalf of the Tax Foundation within the United States between March 28 and April 1, 2005 among a nationwide cross section of 2,013 adults aged 18 and older. Figures for age, sex, race, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population.

With 95 percent confidence, results have a sampling error of +/-2 percentage points. As with all surveys, sampling error is only one of many potential sources of error.