Majority is in favor of tax support for arts

March 20, 1992|By New York Times

Sixty percent of Americans say they favor using federal tax dollars to support the arts, according to the results of a national survey released yesterday by the Louis Harris polling organization.

This opinion from the 1,500 men and women interviewed in February was most pronounced in the East and South, followed closely by the West and Midwest, and was shared by large majorities in all demographic categories in the population, the organization said.

A smaller majority of those polled -- 52 percent -- said they supported having the federal government give direct support to individual artists.

Of those polled, 80 percent said they subscribed to the idea that "for the arts to come forth with their best and most creative efforts, the arts need to operate with a minimum of government control."

While there has been a decline since the last Harris arts survey in 1987 in the public's willingness to have taxes increased to support the arts, the current survey showed that a majority favors certain tax raises. Namely, 69 percent said they would favor a $5 federal tax to support the arts; 64 percent would support a $10 increase; and 56 percent would accept a $15 increase.

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