Commentary

Poll reveals the obvious

According to this recent Tax Foundation survey, Americans don’t like doing their income taxes. In fact, 70 percent either dislike or hate it. Interestingly, some people (11 percent) like it and a tiny sliver of taxpayers (1 percent) actually love doing taxes. Some other interesting tidbits: 77 percent think the tax system needs major changes, 55 percent think taxes are too high, and only 25 percent rate the value received from the taxes paid to the feds as excellent or pretty good. And it’s a far cry from dumping tea into the ocean, but a good portion of us change our behavior to avoid high taxes:

The survey asked respondents what choices they’d made in the last year that were made in order to pay less tax. 28 percent said they had bought something over the Internet rather than from a local store, 25 percent said they gave more to charity, and 14 percent said they crossed a border to shop in a neighboring area with lower taxesââ?¬â??a vivid illustration of what economists call “tax competition.” Another 8 percent said they had worked fewer hours or overtime to avoid higher tax bills. Younger respondents and those with higher incomes and educational attainment were more likely to cross borders or shop over the Internet to avoid taxes.

Ted Balaker is an award-winning filmmaker, journalist, and founding partner of Korchula Productions, a film and new media production company devoted to making important ideas entertaining.