Millionaires aren’t betting on big tax gains next year


While critics slam the Republican tax plan as a gift to the rich, most American millionaires expect to pay the same or more next year, according to the CNBC Millionaire Survey.

Half of American millionaires polled in the survey said they expect their taxes will stay the same in 2018. A third said their taxes will go up. Only 17 percent expect them to go down.

According to the Tax Policy Center, the wealthiest 5 percent of Americans will receive nearly half of the gains from the tax cuts, with the top 20 percent of earners getting a boost of 2.9 percent in their after-tax income, while the middle class will get a boost of 1.6 percent.

Of course, the CNBC survey looks at millionaires by wealth, not income. (The survey polled 750 people with investible assets of $1 million or more in November.)

Yet the results differed widely by party and geography. Forty-four percent of Democratic millionaires said their taxes will go up — compared with only 24 percent of Republicans. One in four Republicans said they expect their taxes to go down, compared with only 10 percent of Democrats.

Millionaires in high-tax states know they’re going to get hit harder. Forty-one percent of millionaires in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut said they’re going to get a tax increase.

Millionaires are also divided on whether they pay too much or too little taxes. On the whole, half of millionaires said they pay too much in taxes and half said that what they pay is a “fair amount.” More than two-thirds of Republican millionaires said they pay too much — compared with two-thirds of Democrats who said they pay a fair share.

Millionaires do believe the corporate tax cuts will lead to economic growth. More than half said cutting corporate taxes creates jobs and will stimulate the economy. But their views are partisan: 80 percent of Republicans said corporate tax cuts create jobs, while two-thirds of Democratic millionaires disagreed. More than 80 percent of Republicans said corporate tax cuts will stimulate economic growth, while two thirds of Democratic millionaires disagree.

Asked what the ideal corporate tax rate should be, millionaires were less generous than Congress and the president. More than half said it should be higher than 25 percent. Only 27 percent of millionaires said it should be at 20 percent, which is just below the 21 percent in the Republican tax bill.

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