New poll: tax fairness was important issue for two-thirds of voters


New Poll Shows Tax Fairness Was Important Consideration for 2/3 of Voters
North Carolina Federal Delegation Should Heed Voters’ Wishes: Make Nation’s Tax System Fair While Addressing Federal Deficit
WASHINGTON, DC (Nov. 17, 2012) – Two-thirds of voters (67 percent) say “making the tax system more fair” was a “very” or “fairly important consideration in making [their] voting decisions this year,” according to a new poll released today by Hart Research Associates on behalf of Americans for Tax Fairness.
This week the North Carolina Justice Center, along with partners from across the state, launched an effort to educate the public and to urge members of the North Carolina delegation to consider the question “Who pays: the richest 2 percent or the rest of us?” in the current federal debate about deficit reduction and the expiring Bush tax cuts.
This poll and last week’s election results demonstrate that voters are paying attention to this issue. Average people care that our policymakers taking steps to reduce the federal deficit by allowing the tax cuts on income over $250,000 to expire,” said Alexandra Sirota, Director of the Budget & Tax Center. “It’s our job over the coming weeks as the debate heats up in Washington to remind Congress that we will no longer accept a tax system that asks more from the majority of us while the richest receive additional tax cuts. Who pays is the central question in this debate.”
The poll showed that by a 17-point margin (56 percent to 39 percent), voters still “think the best way for Congress to deal with the Bush tax cuts” is to “end tax cuts for those making over $250,000” compared to those who think Congress should “continue the tax cuts for everyone.” Independents (54 percent), moderates (64 percent), and swing voters who considered supporting the other candidate (62 percent) all support ending the Bush tax cuts for the richest 2 percent.
It is critical that North Carolina’s delegation honor voters’ wishes, reverse course, end the Bush tax cuts for the richest 2 percent and extend them for 98 percent of voters who need them,” said Allan Freyer, Public Policy Analyst with the Budget and Tax Center.
The poll also showed that voters concerned about the economy, want to reduce the budget deficit by increasing revenue through progressive tax measures, not by cutting Medicare and Medicaid.
 84 percent of voters approve of increasing taxes on the profits American corporations make overseas to ensure that they pay the same taxes on those as they do on domestic profits.
 Voters also favor a surtax of five percent on personal income over $5 million (61 percent), ending the preferential tax treatment of the sale of stocks and other assets (61 percent), and increasing the estate tax on estates of more than $7 million (58 percent).
 In contrast, nearly two-thirds of voters (64 percent) disapprove of raising the age for Medicare eligibility from 65 percent to 67 percent, and 78 percent oppose cuts to Medicaid benefits.
Hart conducted the telephone survey of 1,009 voters nationwide (including 201 cell-phone only voters) on Nov. 7 – 9, 2012 to assess the role of the tax issue in voters’ electoral decision-making, attitudes on the issue of ending the Bush tax cuts for upper-income taxpayers, and support for various deficit reduction proposals.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Alexandra Forter Sirota, BTC Director,, 919.861.1468; Jeff Shaw, Director of Communications,jeff@ncjustice.org503.551.3615 (cell).