HPU Poll: Majority of NC Residents Don’t Believe Their Federal Tax Money is Being Used Properly

HIGH POINT, N.C., Feb. 26, 2019 – A recent HPU Poll finds that most North Carolina residents don’t think their federal tax money is being used properly. A majority (58 percent) of respondents disagree that their tax money is being used properly, with only about one in five of survey respondents saying that they agree (19 percent) that their tax money is being used properly. A similar proportion didn’t offer an opinion (21 percent).

Nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of North Carolina residents agree that they would like to be able to prioritize what their federal tax money is spent on. Only 11 percent of these respondents disagree with that statement, while 15 percent offered no opinion at all.

When asked if they think the federal budget allocation of tax dollars should increase, decrease, or stay the same for a variety of issues, more than two-thirds (68 percent) say the education budget allocation should increase, followed by health care (61 percent) and public infrastructure (52 percent). Less than half of respondents indicate they think the federal budget allocation should increase for the border security (45 percent) and the military (41 percent).

Lastly, the HPU Poll asked how much North Carolinians would favor or oppose a tax proposal that would apply a 70 percent rate to the 10 millionth dollar and beyond for individuals making $10 million a year or more in reportable income. Half of respondents (51 percent) indicate they strongly or somewhat favor such a proposal. One-third (33 percent) say they strongly or somewhat oppose this tax proposal, and 16 percent offered no opinion.

“These findings show that people in North Carolina are generally skeptical about how well their money is being put to use,” says Dr. Martin Kifer, chair and associate professor of political science and director of the HPU Poll. “But despite that general concern, it appears that a majority is open to increasing taxes on the richest Americans.”

All adults – Federal Tax Money (February 2019)

Now I would like to change topics and ask about taxes. How much do you agree or disagree with the following statements? Would you say you strongly disagree, disagree, have no opinion, agree, or strongly agree?

My federal tax money is being used properly:

Strongly disagree – 24 percent

Disagree – 34 percent        

No opinion – 21 percent     

Agree – 15 percent  

Strongly agree – 4 percent 

(Don’t know/Refused) – 2 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) phone and online sample, surveyed Feb. 18-24, 2019, n = 881 and credibility interval of +/- 4.5 percent)

All adults – Federal Tax Priority (February 2019)

Now I would like to change topics and ask about taxes.  How much do you agree or disagree with the following statements? Would you say you strongly disagree, disagree, have no opinion, agree, or strongly agree?

I would like to be able to prioritize what my federal tax money is spent on:

Strongly disagree – 3 percent

Disagree – 8 percent

No opinion – 15 percent     

Agree – 39 percent  

Strongly agree – 35 percent

(Don’t know/Refused) – 1 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) phone and online sample, surveyed Feb. 18-24, 2019, n = 881 and credibility interval of +/- 4.5 percent)

All adults – Federal Budget Allocation (February 2019)

For each of the following, do you think the federal budget allocation of tax dollars should increase, decrease, or stay the same?

  Increase Decrease Stay the same (Don’t know/ refused)
Education 68 7 18 7
Health care 61 12 19 9
Public infrastructure 52 7 29 12
Border security 45 19 27 9
Military 41 18 32 9

(All adult (North Carolina resident) phone and online sample, surveyed Feb. 18-24, 2019, n = 881 and credibility interval of +/- 4.5 percent)

All adults – Federal Tax Rate (February 2019)

Currently the top federal tax rate is 37 percent. How much would you favor or oppose a tax proposal that would apply a 70 percent rate to the 10 millionth dollar and beyond for individuals making $10 million a year or more in reportable income?

Strongly favor – 30 percent

Somewhat favor – 21 percent

Somewhat oppose – 13 percent

Strongly oppose – 20 percent

(Don’t know/Refused) – 16 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) phone and online sample, surveyed Feb. 18-24, 2019, n = 881 and credibility interval of +/- 4.5 percent)

The most recent HPU Poll was fielded by live interviewers at the High Point University Survey Research Center calling on Feb. 18-24, 2019 and an online survey fielded at the same time. The responses from a sample of all North Carolina counties came from 881 adults interviewed online (599 respondents) as well as landline or cellular telephones (282 respondents). The Survey Research Center contracted with Dynata, formerly Research Now SSI: https://www.dynata.com/ to acquire these samples, and fielded the online survey using its Qualtrics platform. This is a combined sample of live phone interviews and online interviews. The online sampling is from a panel of respondents, so their participation does not adhere to usual assumptions associated with random selection.  Therefore, it is not appropriate to assign a classical margin of sampling error for the results. In this case, the SRC provides a credibility interval of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points to account for a traditional 95 percent confidence interval for the estimates (plus or minus 3.3 percentage points) and a design effect of 1.4 (based on the weighting). The data is weighted toward population estimates for age, gender, race, and education level based on U.S. Census numbers for North Carolina. Factors such as question wording and other methodological choices in conducting survey research can introduce additional error into the findings of opinion polls. Details from this survey are available at http://www.highpoint.edu/src/files/2019/02/64memoA.pdf.

Further results and methodological details from the most recent survey and past studies can be found at the Survey Research Center website at http://www.highpoint.edu/src/. The materials online include past press releases as well as memos summarizing the findings (including approval ratings) for each poll since 2010.

The HPU Poll reports methodological details in accordance with the standards set out by AAPOR’s Transparency Initiative, and the HPU Survey Research Center is a Charter Member of the Initiative. For more information, see

http://transparency.aapor.org/index.php/transparency.

You can follow the HPU Poll on Twitter at https://twitter.com/HPUSurveyCenter.

Dr. Martin Kifer, chair and associate professor of political science, serves as the director of the HPU Poll and Brian McDonald is the associate director of the HPU Poll.

Share Button

Related Posts