A poll by Hart Research Associates (Oct. 1-6, 2019) shows that Americans’ top priority regarding tax policy is making sure the wealthy pay their fair share. In addition, voters embrace a wide variety of progressive tax policies to raise taxes on the wealthy or corporations but show particularly strong support for a Millionaires Surtax – an additional 10-percentage point tax on income above $2 million. Voters also say they are more likely to support candidates who favor higher taxes on the wealthy and corporations in general, and the surtax in particular.
Here are the poll’s key findings from 1,001 likely voters nationwide (MOE +/- 3.2%):
- 80% say that making sure the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes is important (including 68% who say it’s “extremely” important), ranking first among 17 potential priorities. By comparison, just 34% say it’s important (22% “extremely” important) to reduce tax rates for individuals across the board.
- By an overwhelming 30-point margin, voters say they are more likely to vote for a candidate who favors raising taxes on the wealthy and corporations (65%) over one who opposes any increase in taxes (35%). This margin exceeds 25 points in every region of the country. The survey reveals especially large advantages for this candidate among independents (72% to 28%, +44) and moderates (69% to 31%, +38).
- Almost three in four voters (73%) would support a proposal by Democrats to apply a 10% surtax on income above $2 million for married couples or $1 million for individuals. The Millionaires Surtax has great appeal to key swing groups like independents (76% support) and moderates (76% support). Even a majority of Trump voters (57%) and Republicans (53%) favor the policy, despite its being identified explicitly as a Democratic
- Voters rally behind the Millionaires Surtax not only because it makes the wealthy pay their fair share, but because it raises substantial revenue to meet the nation’s needs. By four-to-one (64% to 15%), voters feel more favorably about the surtax when they learn that it will increase federal revenue by more than $600 billion over 10 years.
- 60% said they would be “more likely” to support a candidate for Congress who supported a 10% surtax on incomes over $2 million.
- The most persuasive messages for a Millionaires Surtax are: it raises more than $600 billion in revenue; it’s paid only by a small fraction of the richest 1%; and it will fund investments that benefit everyday Americans, like education, infrastructure, and healthcare.