Authors have argued that decentralization of political authority in multilevel polities can have a variety of consequences on policy outcomes. In this paper we investigate how voters make sense of those consequences and how it affects their preference for decentralization in different policy areas. We argue that voters use the aggregate income profile of their fellow voters as a clue to anticipate policy consequences of decentralization. Rich (poor) individuals tend do support centralization when the combination of the proportion of poor population and the average income available for taxation can produce less (more) electoral pressure for redistribution at the national level. We show support for that argument using a survey conducted in Brazil, which contains questions about preferences for allocation of policy authority in many policy areas.