Majority Of Wealthy Support Tax Increases On Millionaires: Poll

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Less than a quarter of wealthy Americans support raising taxes on households making $250,000 or more a year, the level being targeted by President Barack Obama, though tax increases further up the income scale have broader support, said a poll released on Tuesday.

Nearly half of those polled approved of income tax increases on discretionary household incomes of $500,000 or more annually, said the poll sponsored by two marketing and publishing companies.

For those earning $1 million or more annually, 65 percent of respondents said they would support income tax increases.

Only 23 percent of respondents said they support tax increases for households making $250,000 a year.

The poll was conducted in September by the Harrison Group, a research and marketing firm, and American Express Publishing Corp., a media subsidiary of American Express Co. It surveyed 769 respondents with minimum discretionary income of $100,000.

Only 43 percent said tax increases would improve the overall economy, while confidence in the economy dropped from 50 percent in September 2010 to 33 percent this year.

The poll found 55 percent of those surveyed do not blame the Obama administration for economic woes.

Obama has called for tax cuts to expire for households earning $250,000 a year. The president is also looking to pass a new levy that would tax Americans earning $1 million or more a year to ensure they do not pay taxes in a lower bracket.

(Reporting by Patrick Temple-West, editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Gerald E. McCormick)

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