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2006 Annual Survey of U.S. Attitudes on Tax and Wealth

2 min readBy: Scott Hodge, Andrew Chamberlain

Executive Summary
While political momentum for federal 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 has stalled in the nation’s capital, the 2006 Annual Survey of U.S. Attitudes on Tax and Wealth shows 80 percent of U.S. adults believe the federal tax system needs major changes or a complete overhaul—up from 77 percent in 2005—and a majority (52 percent) are willing to give up some tax deductionA tax deduction is a provision that reduces taxable income. A standard deduction is a single deduction at a fixed amount. Itemized deductions are popular among higher-income taxpayers who often have significant deductible expenses, such as state and local taxes paid, mortgage interest, and charitable contributions. s to make the tax system simpler.

Overall support for federal tax reform rose in 2006. A majority of U.S. adults report they are willing to give up some tax deductions to make the tax system simpler. Only about one in ten adults are willing to pay additional taxes to eliminate the federal budget deficit and balance the budget. A majority report the amount of federal income taxes they have to pay is “too high,” and rate the value they receive from the taxes they pay to the federal government as “only fair” or “poor.”

Survey results are based on a Harris Interactive® online survey conducted on behalf of the Tax Foundation within the United States between March 8 and 16, 2006 among a nationwide cross section of 2,017 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.