We designed a Survey Experiment (SE) to study the attitudes of the Italians towards wealth, income
and consumptions taxes. In particular, we interviewed a sample of 2,400 subjects drawn from a larger
representative pool of 120,000 individuals. Beside collecting information about individuals’ values and beliefs,
the survey also gathered information about (i) the preferred tax base, (ii) the attitudes towards replacing all the
taxes with a unique tax, possibly on wealth, (iii) the views in regard to proposals to increase public expenditure
by resorting to taxes of various kind and in different scenarios. We find that wealth taxes are definitely
preferred to consumption taxes and that this preference is at par with income taxation. Wealth taxes are justified
by the fact that they reflect one’s ability to pay. Opposition emerges when it is feared that wealth taxes end up
increasing tax pressure and when the value of the main residence is included in the tax base. Political
inclinations play a minor role.
Do people really dislike wealth taxes more than other types of taxes?