I spend most of my time on this blog extolling the value of nonviolent tax
resistance. I suppose, to be fair, I ought to at least mention
the violent variety:
Nebojsa Miladinovic, a saw-mill owner in his fifties, tried for days to
convince tax officials in the central town of Gornji Milanovac he had paid
his 192,200 dinar ($2,794) bill. They said he had not, sent the bill again
and blocked his bank account.
After arguing his case ,
Miladinovic returned, doused tax chief Gojko Stefanovic and the office files
with petrol, shot at computers and yelled “I was ripped off.”
Two people were injured in the melee and parts of the office caught fire,
with panicked staff escaping through the windows.
Police arrested Miladinovic, whom neighbors described as a hard worker who
never made trouble. Witnesses said he even paid for parking his car in front
of the tax office before the rampage.
This phone tax has long been associated with war — it was enacted to fund the
Spanish-American war and was raised to help pay for both World Wars, the
Korean War, the Vietnam War and the military build-up of
. For this reason, war tax
resisters in particular have targeted this tax.
But I’ll be surprised if the war tax resistance movement joins up with
Americans for Tax Reform to try to get rid of the tax. For one thing, they’d
have to hold their noses to align themselves with a right-winger like
Norquist, since they’re mostly lefties themselves.
But also, because resisting the phone tax is such an easy and risk-free way to
play at tax resistance without having to become too committed to it, the war
tax resistance movement has become weirdly dependent on that tax. Some tax
resisters don’t have it in them to do any more than phone tax resistance — if
there were no phone tax, what would those tax resisters do instead?
bill has been introduced in the House of Representatives that would
abolish the tax. It currently has 137 co-sponsors.