Catholic Priest Resists Taxes Over School Funding Dispute

From the Spokane Daily Chronicle:

Priest Refuses Tax Payment

The superintendant of schools in the Cleveland Catholic Diocese said that he was willing to withhold tax payments, even if it meant “that I am to be prosecuted,” to protest a federal court ban on state aid to parochial schools.

Msgr. William Novicky in a statement compared the situation that Catholic parents now face with the civil rights movement.

“Blacks rallied behind such leaders as Dr. Martin Luther King, who declared if a law is unjust and unfair it should be disobeyed in the pursuit of freedom,” Msgr. Novicky said. “Blacks were beaten, hosed, chased by dogs and were jailed, but they persisted.

“And the courts took note of the black man’s struggle.”

Msgr. Novicky said he abhors violence or destruction of property, but is “prepared to suffer the consequences” of withholding taxes.

He said refusing to pay taxes strikes at the “double burden of taxation every parent must pay who has a child in a nonpublic school.”

, after the Supreme Court declared a voucher plan unconstitutional, Novicky had another idea. He recommended that his school board eliminate tuition and instead run the school on money collected from donations to the church. Such donations are tax deductible, while, under the law Novicky opposed, tuition to private religious schools is not.


From the Reading Eagle:

Magazine to pay IRS

The monthly Quaker magazine Friends Journal has agreed to pay $31,343 as a settlement with the Internal Revenue Service for the war tax resistance by its editor, Vinton Dening. That covers five years of taxes (), $19,623, plus interest.

The IRS had placed a levy on Dening’s salary, which the magazine’s board of managers refused to pay. But the board finally agreed to the settlement when counsel advised that it could not win a court case.

The board supports a bill before Congress that would provide a way for individuals to direct their tax money to peaceful purposes.

Actually, it was Vinton Deming, with an “m”. He retired from his post at Friends Journal in . In he explained his introduction to war tax resistance in this way:

When I attended Philadelphia Yearly Meeting in the late 1960s I had no way of knowing that my life would be changed as a result.… [T]he meeting was wrestling with the question of draft resistance and was trying to prepare an appropriate minute in support of young Friends faced with the draft. During a difficult moment in this process a young Friend stood and spoke with deep emotion; and his words went straight to my heart. It didn’t matter, he said, what older Friends might say in his support of him and his generation (through support was needed and appreciated, for sure); what really mattered to him was that Friends look personally at their own lives to see how they were connected to warmaking. If they were too old to be drafted (and most of us were) perhaps they could find other ways to resist the war.

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