You Probably Think You Pay More in Taxes Than You Do And It Likely Affects Your Politics

“The idea has been drilled into us for decades that taxes are too high,” says MSU Economist Charles Ballard.

FILE - Michigan Individual Income Tax Return.

FILE - Michigan Individual Income Tax Return.

If you haven’t already filed your taxes, it’s probably weighing on your mind right now as the deadline approaches in a few weeks.

As we head into the thick of tax season, ponder this question: What is your tax rate? Do you know? If not, do you have a guess?

Maybe you’re right on the mark, but chances are you’re not really sure, or you think you know but you’re mistaken.

Click here to figure out how much you actually pay in federal taxes 

This doesn’t just affect you and your wallet, but it could also affect how you feel about how much money to hand over to the government every paycheck.

Those feelings can have a big impact on how we vote and how we shape our own political views. For example, this might affect how you feel about the new federal tax overhaul.

The folks at Michigan State University’s Institute for Public Policy and Social Research (IPPSR) recently found in their State of the State survey that most people in Michigan over-state their tax rate.

And the people most likely to inflate their own tax rates are those who believe taxes on households like theirs should be lower, those who get tax-preparation assistance, and those who believe the tax dollars they pay are spent ineffectively.

Click here to see the full report on Michigan residents’ perceptions of their own tax burdens

One of the co-authors of the study, Michigan State University Economist Charles Ballard, joins Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson to talk about those findings.

“The idea has been drilled into us for decades that taxes are too high,” says Ballard. “And what we find is that people who believe that taxes on households like their’s are too high are likely, in our study, to overstate their taxes by more.”

Click on the audio player above to hear the full conversation.


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