Today, some news reports about the activities of the Pennsylvania group “Brandywine War Tax Resistance” during . That group was a predecessor to the present-day group called “Brandywine Peace Community.”
First, from the Delaware County, Pennsylvania, Daily Times, :
Concord — The Brandywine War Tax Resistance Fund has made an interest free loan of $2,000 to the Camden 28 Defense Committee to help cover expenses incurred during the trial which is scheduled to begin .
Brandywine War Tax Resistance, which began in , is a group of Delaware and Chester Counties war tax registers who seek a means of using monies for the community rather than the military.
The fund is made up of refused taxes — both income tax and the federal tax attached to telephone service — and personal savings. This money is held, interest free, and used for loans and occasionally grants, to groups working for social change. The fund amounts to about $5,000.
In a grant was made to the Welfare Rights Organization in Chester to buy food for welfare recipients when checks were held up by the legislature’s refusal to approve appropriations. The loan to the Camden 28 is one of the first the group has made.
The Camden 28 will go on trial for a variety of charges stemming from an attempt to remove files from the Camden, N.J. draft boards in . They were arrested by the FBI.
Brandywine War Tax Resistance meets the second Monday of each month in the saddlehouse of Concord Friends Meeting, Thornton Road.
Next, from the Delaware County, Pennsylvania, Daily Times, of :
The Brandywine War Tax Resistance Fund is no more — at least by that name.
At their meeting the group decided to change their title to the Brandywine Alternative Fund.
“The feeling of the group was that we wished to expand our focus past the sole purpose of war tax resistance,” Robert M. Smith, group staff worker, said. “War tax resistance is still part of our work, but we want to get into sponsoring demonstrations and educational events.”
Also at the last meeting the fund was opened to people who wanted to place their personal savings as opposed to only withheld taxes into the fund.
The Fund was started in as the Brandywine War Tax Resistance Fund, a group of Delaware and Chester County citizens opposed to the militaristic interests of the nation. Currently there are 70 members.
“We’ve had periods of growth and periods of decline,” Smith said. “Right now we are in a growth period. Our sharpest decline, of course, was right after the ceasefire.”
The fund consists of money which has been refused to the government through non-payment of taxes — all or a portion of personal income tax or telephone tax — and, now, through savings which would ordinarily be deposited into a bank account. Smith said various churches in the two counties are considering placing their savings in the fund.
The fund uses, the money for loans to groups working for social change or those who provide a needed human service. Loan recipients so far have been the Camden 28 Defense Committee, $2,000; Community Mailing Service Inc., $2,000; The Fair Upstairs Media, $1,000; People for Peace, Chester County, $90; Youth Advocates, Inc., Media, $1,000; War Tax Resistance (National Office), $700; and Community Assistance Project, Chester, $3,000.
“The fund is made up of people who want to reorder priorities away from weapons and war-related matters to providing for people’s needs,” Smith said. “It is a positive way of saying no to the military course of a war society and yes to social services and a course toward a more humane society.”
Smith said anyone who decides to take the step and not pay personal income tax are carefully counseled by people with expertise in tax laws.
“This is a very serious step. It requires breaking the law in the name of a higher moral law,” Smith said.
He listed some of the ramifications of resistance as having a levy against a bank account, the government trying to exact payment from an employer or a lien against a car or house.
“The repercussions are quite manifold and complicated,” he said. “I know of no war tax resister imprisoned, except Thoreau — no modern one anyway.”
According to Smith, one member of the group was just required to pay after a six year appeal. He hadn’t paid taxes in 10 years. Smith himself has not paid his telephone tax in eight years and has never had any legal consequences.
The group is sponsoring a “Sidewalk Display,” in the Plum Street Mall, Media. The purpose of the event is to educate people to the disposition of their tax dollar.
The fund’s office is at 302 S. Jackson St., Media.
Next, from The Pittsburgh Press, of :
Washington — The U.S. Tax Court has ruled that five Pennsylvanians had no right to take “war crimes” deductions from their federal income tax in protest of American military action in Southeast Asia.
The court ruled in favor the Internal Revenue Service, saying that even if the war crimes allegations were true, the courts have held consistently that there is no basis for avoiding federal income tax obligations.
Theodore and Anne Tapper of Philadelphia had a deficiency of $5,357, John H. Ginaven of West Chester, $872, Mary E. Austin of Philadelphia, $417, and Ruth W. Fales of Lincoln University, $295.
Ms. Austin claimed she turned over her $417 to the Philadelphia War Tax Resistance Fund.
The Tappers said they made some payments to the fund. Ms. Fales said she “deposited” the $295 she deducted with the Brandywine War Tax Resistance Fund and the American Friends Service Committee.
Finally, from the Delaware County, Pennsylvania, Daily Times, of :
Media — The Barleywine Alternative Fund, 302 S. Jackson St., will begin their weekly series of presences at local IRS offices at the Chester IRS office, Fidelity Building, 5th St. and Avenue of the States, Chester.
According to Fund staff worker Robert Smith, vigilling with banners and leafletting will take place in addition to an alternative peace tax counseling table being set up on the fifth floor office of the IRS.
On , the protesters will be vigilling and distributing war tax resistance literature at the mobile IRS tax unit, 69th and Market Sts., Upper Darby.
On , the group will be at the West Chester IRS office, 724 E. Market St. They will be accompanied by “Little Boy,” a replica of the Hiroshima atomic bomb. The presence on will conclude with a short religious service inside the office.