[Release] My Faith Votes Survey Finds Evangelicals Want Tax Reform

DALLAS — As America waits anxiously for the Senate to review the House tax overhaul bill, My Faith Votes surveyed politically active Evangelicals from within its constituency to gauge their level of support for the measure.

In an internal survey of over 3,000 politically active Evangelical voters, My Faith Votes found that an overwhelming majority — 95 percent — support the effort to “significantly reform the tax code in America.” Only a fraction, 3.3 percent, opposed Congress’ current tax reform efforts.

The survey indicates that the Evangelical power bloc that was instrumental in President Trump’s 2016 victory supports the bill due to several key considerations surrounding their values and beliefs.

As evidence of this, the survey question that received the strongest response from Evangelicals concerned the bill’s proposal of repealing the Johnson Amendment, which prohibits tax-exempt churches and religious groups from taking a political stance or endorsing a candidate. Nearly 83 percent of respondents said they either strongly or somewhat support the proposed tax bill’s measure to repeal the amendment.

The survey also indicates that Evangelicals are willing to lose deductions if it will lead to the higher purpose of simplifying the tax code.

Nearly 9 out of 10 Evangelicals said they would not decrease their charitable giving if the standard deduction is doubled, as the tax plan proposes. And nearly 68 percent supported limiting the mortgage deduction for those mortgages over $500,000 if it would help simplify the U.S. tax code.

“Evangelicals see tax reform not just from a pocketbook perspective, but through the prism of their faith values,” said Jason Yates, CEO of My Faith Votes. “They want action on comprehensive tax reform, and they will support legislation that supports their beliefs. This is why they’re able to support the House’s proposed tax bill because it touches on key considerations such as religious freedom.”

Yates also noted that Evangelicals were greatly encouraged when Congress announced the adoption tax credit would remain in the bill, another nod to the influence of their faith and unified voice as many Evangelicals raised concerns over the initial proposal to do away with the tax credit that helps families who adopt.

But even when there isn’t a monetary incentive, Evangelicals will still follow the tenets of their faith, as evidenced by their commitment to charitable giving.

“Their motivation to give is not found in the promise of a tax benefit, but flows from a deep belief in Christian generosity and showing compassion to those in need,” Yates said.

The only aspect of the House bill where Evangelicals were near evenly split — 44 percent in favor compared to 46 percent against — was the proposed elimination of state and local tax deductions.

My Faith Votes, a nonpartisan voter mobilization organization, provides Christians voters opportunities to make their voices heard and equips them to cast biblically informed votes in local and national elections.

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My Faith Votes is a nonpartisan movement focused on motivating Christians in America to participate in local and domestic elections. By partnering with local churches, pastors and national faith leaders, My Faith Votes mobilizes and resources Christians to lead the conversation on the place of faith in culture and politics. Gov. Mike Huckabee serves as the organization’s honorary national chairman.

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