Modern “tax revolts” in the United States are usually exercises in heated rhetoric, with the occasional ballot box primary upset or voter initiative. Every once in a while, though, tax resistance becomes a tactic, or at least a threat, as in Norwalk, Connecticut in :
Taxpayers Group Launches Crusade Against Tax Hikes
Norwalk — Starting its fourth year, and with moderate successes on its record the Norwalk Taxpayers League will undertake a “new crusade,” says president Vincent DePanfilis.
A League founder and its only president since its inception, DePanfilis was recently reelected to lead the group to its new goal — no tax increase whatsoever next year.
To this end, NTL will try to get the signed pledges of thousands of taxpayers not to pay any increase in taxation.
“In other words we in will pay the same amount of taxes we are paying in but not a penny more,” DePanfilis explained.
This message, he promised was to go to the Irwin administration, the Board of Education and the Board of Estimate, in plenty of time for them to take it into consideration in preparing the budget.
“They will not be able to say they were not warned if they raise rates and taxpayers refuse to pay the increases,” DePanfilis declared.
Previously, the NTL has called for taxpayers’ strikes in which overburdened property-owners would refuse to pay any taxes.
DePanfilis, one year, urged members to join him in burning their tax bills on the steps of City Hall.
The organization will [also] prepare a voting index to pinpoint Council members who vote against taxpayers’ interests and “buy votes with taxpayers’ dollars,” he said.
DePanfilis ran as a candidate for state representative in , finished third in a three-way contest for mayor of Norwalk in , and lost a run for state senate in . He became chairman of the “Charter Revision Commission” in and was finally able to exercise some control over the government’s taxing authority.
A search for other mentions of members of his League seems to show them in the ordinary American conservative camp: for instance decrying Vietnam War doves, and trying to get sex education out of the public schools and prayer back in (DePanfilis allied his League with the Movement to Restore Decency, a John Birch Society anti-sex-education outfit).