Poll participants were asked two questions, with the following results:
DO YOU THINK IT IS FAIR OR UNFAIR FOR THE GOVERNMENT TO TAX A PERSON’S EARNINGS WHILE IT IS BEING EARNED AND THEN TAX IT AGAIN AFTER A PERSON DIES?
9.4% FAIR 88.5% UNFAIR 2.1% DON’T KNOW/REFUSED
DO YOU APPROVE OR DISAPPROVE OF ABOLISHING THE ESTATE TAX, ALSO KNOWN AS THE "DEATH TAX?"
78.5% APPROVE 13.7% DISAPPROVE 7.8% DK/REFUSED
These results were remarkably consistent over all income groups in the sample. In fact, 56% of the respondents in this poll earned less than $60,000 per year. Results were also consistent regardless of age or region.
Survey Results Consistent With Other Polls
Similar results have been found in poll after poll conducted by a variety of groups in the past two years. Here are a few examples:
- 71% called the estate tax unfair to heirs and should be eliminated.
From the Tarrance Group,Inc./Lake Snell Perry & Assocs. Voter.com Battleground 2000 Fall Tracking Survey #8367 Week 8, November 7, 2000, questions commissioned by Food Marketing Institute:
- 62% of voters feel the federal estate tax should be repealed. Voters in the Midwest; voters ages 50-59 and conservative voters are more likely to have this opinion.
- 75% of Republicans feel the federal estate tax should be repealed. 60% of Independents also have this opinion as well as 52% of Democrats.
From the John McLaughlin and Associates survey of 1,000 people commissioned by Americans Against Unfair Family Taxation, June 5, 2000:
- 78% of people surveyed believe the death tax should be eliminated outright.
From the 60 Plus Association’s Death Tax Poll, taken January 12, 2000, Kellyanne Fitzpatrick, the polling company:
- 77% of people polled say that they would be more likely to vote for a member of Congress if they voted to eliminate the death tax.
From the John McLaughlin and Associates survey of 1,000 people commissioned by Americans Against Unfair Family Taxation, June 15, 1999:
- 84% of people surveyed believe that the estate tax affects other groups of Americans besides the wealthy.
- 53% of people surveyed think that the estate tax hurts the American economy.
- 89% of people surveyed think that it is unfair for the government to tax a person’s earnings while it is being earned and then tax it again after a person dies.
From the John McLaughlin and Associates survey of 1,000 people commissioned by Americans Against Unfair Family Taxation, July 26-27, 1999:
- 89% of people polled believe it is unfair that the federal government taxes your income when you receive it, and then taxes your estate after you die.
- 77% of people polled approve of eliminating the estate tax.
From the Luntz Research Company’s National Survey on Taxes and Social Security, August 1998:
- 69% of Americans believe that the death tax is unfair.
- 85% of Americans polled agreed that inheritance taxes are extreme forms of taxation and that the 55% rate is unfair.
From John Zogby’s “American Values” survey of 1005 likely voters nationwide,December 15-17, 2000: