Poll: Americans Divided on Whether They Pay Too Much in Taxes

A survey shows 43% of Americans think they pay too much in taxes, while another 48% say they are paying the right amount.

The poll from the Public Religion Research Institute finds poorer Americans say they pay too much in taxes, while a plurality of those on the higher end of the income scale say they pay too little. Nearly half of middle-class Americans say their taxes are too high.

Views about the fairness of tax rates vary significantly by political affiliation. While 52 percent of Democrats believe that Americans earning less than $30,000 a year are paying too much in taxes only 34 percent of Republicans agree. A majority of Republicans say that low-income earners pay about the right amount (39 percent) or too little in taxes (17 percent). Only 5 percent of Democrats believe Americans making $30,000 a year or less are paying too little.

There are even larger partisan differences in views about the appropriate amount that high-income earners should be paying in taxes. More than three-quarters (77 percent) of Democrats say people who make more than $250,000 a year pay too little in taxes. In contrast, fewer than 3-in-10 Republicans (27 percent) and Tea Party members (22 percent) agree that Americans earning at least $250,000 a year pay too little. Republicans (20 percent) and Tea Party members (23 percent) are more than twice as likely as Democrats (8 percent) to say that the high-income earners pay too much in taxes.