New Poll Finds 63% of Mainers Support Federal Estate Tax

Press Release from United for a Fair Economy
For immediate release-September 1, 2005
Contact Christina Kasica, 617-423-2148, ext. 119 (cell phone 617-966-0445)

New Poll Finds 63% of Mainers Support Federal Estate Tax

Estate Tax Favored Across the Political Spectrum

BOSTON- A new poll shows that 63% of registered Maine voters surveyed oppose repealing the federal estate tax, instead favoring reform of the tax, after hearing arguments for each position. The poll also showed that 55% of voters said they were less likely to vote for candidates who support the outright repeal of the estate tax. The poll script and results are available at http://www.faireconomy.org/estatetax/mainepoll.

The U.S. Senate is scheduled to vote on estate tax repeal the week of September 5, and Maine's two senators have not yet declared how they will vote.

The poll also showed that support for the estate tax was strong among both Republicans and Democrats, with over half of responding Republicans, 74% of Democrats, and 67% of Independents opposing repeal and favoring reform. The Maine poll results were comparable to those found in a recent national poll, which showed 59% of Americans favor a reformed estate tax (see those poll findings at http://www.coalition4americaspriorities.com).

The Maine poll, sponsored by United for a Fair Economy (UFE) and conducted August 29, 2005, sampled the opinions of 2,440 Maine voters and had a margin of error of +/-2.0%. Results were weighted.

"This poll shows Mainers aren't fooled by the myths spread by estate tax detractors. We Mainers understand that the estate tax is an important source of revenue and it does not hurt farmers and small businesses," said Dory Waxman, the Maine organizer for UFE. Ms. Waxman is working to inform Maine residents about the estate tax issue, and organized 60 prominent Mainers to sign pro-estate tax ads in three Maine newspapers in June.

In the run-up to the Senate vote, UFE will deliver copies of its national petition, the Call to Preserve the Estate Tax, to senators who are undecided about how they will vote on repeal. Petitions will be delivered in Maine to the Portland offices of Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins. The Call has been signed by over 5,000 Americans, including more than 2,200 millionaires and billionaires who are subject to the estate tax. It was initiated in 2001 with signers like Bill Gates, Sr., father of the Microsoft chairman, Ted Turner, and Paul Newman. Maine signers include former Governor Angus King and business owners James Wellehan and Bob Monks, Jr. In Maine, 42 individuals who expect to owe estate tax have signed the Call to Preserve the Estate Tax, while in 2003, the latest year for which figures are available, just 107 estates paid the estate tax. A complete list of Call signers can be found at http://www.responsiblewealth.org/estatetax/ETCall_Signers.html.

United for a Fair Economy is an independent national non-profit that raises awareness that concentrated wealth and power undermine the economy, corrupt democracy, deepen the racial divide, and tear communities apart.

   

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