Record-High 60% of Californians Say They Pay Too Much Tax

Record-High 60% of Californians Say They Pay Too Much Tax

Ahead of the April 15 tax deadline, a record-high 60% of Californians say that they pay “much more” or “somewhat more” in taxes than they should, according to a recent survey by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) (and noted by John Seiler of and Stephen Frank of

However, as PPIC Mark Baldassare notes at Fox&Hounds, Californians still believe that the answer is to tax wealthy earners or corporations more–not to reform and broaden the current tax system.

The PPIC survey, which was conducted in March among 1,702 adults, notes: 

While about half of Californians view the state and local tax system as fair, a record-high 60 percent of adults say they pay much more (30%) or somewhat more (30%) than they feel they should in state and local taxes; 35 percent think they pay about the right amount and 3 percent say they pay less than they should. Opinions of likely voters are similar.

However, as Baldassare notes, that view of the tax system remains tied to a view that the wealthy do not pay enough, and that the state should restore and extend funding for state services. That makes the prospects for fiscal reform rather dim: “If tax reform proponents ask voters to raise taxes or to make changes to the state and local tax system any time soon, they will need to be mindful of voters’ current views on these issues,” he writes.

Other findings in the survey include increasing concern about water, which is named as the state’s second-most important issue after jobs and the economy; a record-high level of support for immigrants, with 65% saying that they are a benefit to the state; and near record-low levels of support for President Barack Obama, albeit still just above 50%. 

The state also remains staunchly liberal on a variety of social issues, from abortion to gun control.


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