Public Opinion Poll

64 Percent of California Voters Think Their Income Taxes Are Too High

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Almost two-thirds of California voters believe their state and federal income taxes are too high, according to a Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll released April 15. This marked a 10 percentage-point increase since 2016, the last time a comparable question was asked by the pollster.

Latinos in the 40-49 age group were the most likely to say their income taxes are excessive, the poll found.

The pollster asked registered voters: “Are the federal and state income taxes that you and your family now pay too high, about right, or too low?” The answers: Too high, 64 percent; about right, 26 percent; too low, 1 percent; no opinion, 9 percent.

The “too high” answers came from 54 percent of the Democratic respondents, 83 percent of Republicans, and 66 percent of respondents with no party preference.

In every age group and racial group, a majority of voters said their income taxes are too high. The age breakdown: 18-29, 59 percent; 30-39, 71 percent; 40-49, 72 percent; 50-64, 70 percent; 65 or older, 53 percent. By racial group: Latino, 69 percent; black, 66 percent; Asian/Pacific Islander, 65 percent; and white non-Hispanic, 61 percent.

By income, the poll found that 68 percent of those with income of $100,000 and above said their taxes are too high, compared to 65 percent in the $40,000 to $99,999 income range and 57 percent of those with income below $40,000. Under California’s progressive personal income tax structure, the tax rate ranges from 1 percent to 6 percent for those with income under $45,753 and reaches 13.3 percent on income above $1 million.

The results of the Berkely IGS poll are in line with the findings of a March 24 Public Policy Institute of California poll in which 62 percent of California adults said they are paying more state and local taxes than they think they should, and 3 percent said they think they are undertaxed.

The poll was administered online from March 29 to April 5 in English and Spanish, to 8,676 registered voters. The margin of error is plus or minus 2 percent. The survey was funded in part by the Los Angeles Times.