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Conventional wisdom says that the rich hate paying taxes. And the vast majority say they pay too much.
But a new study shows that the richer you are, the more likely you are to support paying higher tax rates.
A study from Spectrem Group, a nonpartisan wealth research firm, asked investors what percentage of gross income they feel they should be paying in taxes.
Among the mass affluent—those worth $100,000 or more—more than half said they should be paying less than 15 percent. (Fully 26 percent said they should pay between 8 percent and 10 percent, and 24 percent said they should pay between 11 percent and 15 percent.) Only 1 in 10 said they should be paying more than 21 percent.
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Among millionaires, or those worth $1 million or more, just under half say they should pay less than 15 percent (Among this group, 21 percent said they should pay between 8 percent and 10 percent, and 24 percent said they should pay between 11 percent and 15 percent). Two in 10 say they should pay more than 21 percent.
Among the "ultra high net worth" investors—those worth $30 million or more—Spectrem finds a much higher tolerance for higher rates. Only 29 percent said they should pay less than 15 percent. But 4 in 10 said they should pay more than 21 percent.
A surprising 13 percent said they should pay between 26 percent and 30 percent and 6 percent said they should pay between 31 percent and 40 percent.
It's not like the wealthy or even super wealthy are eager to pay more taxes. The study shows that the vast majority of the affluent, millionaires and ultra-rich believe they should pay less than they already do.
The average tax rate paid by the top 1 percent of taxpayers in 2011 was 23.5 percent.
"Most investors, regardless of wealth level, do not believe they should be paying over 25 percent in taxes," Spectrem said, "although the tax rate for many of these households is probably over 30 percent, especially when state taxes are added to their gross incomes."
Maybe it's just that the richer you are, the more you've gotten used to paying higher rates.
—By CNBC's Robert Frank.