When women won the vote in Pennsylvania, they also won the tax, and some were none too happy about it. Here are the stories of a few who said “no.”
Refusal to Pay $4.05 Impost May Result in Jail Sentences.
Darby, Pa., — Six women out of 300 who defied the local tax collector and refused to pay a personal tax of $4.05, still were holding out against the payment of the impost.
Unless they pay the tax, says S. Robert Shaw, the collector, he will be forced to send them to the Delaware county jail until they meet this obligation to the borough.
Despite the resistance of the little band, a majority of the housewives of Darby chose to pay the tax in preference to going to jail.
Many of the women who decided to pay brought their babies along to the tax collector’s office and at one time there was a string of baby coaches outside the door.
Harry W. Shein, deputy collector, had his troubles in trying to find some of the delinquents. There was no response to his call at several of the homes and there was nothing for him to do but pass on to the next delinquency. He found Mrs. Margaret Lytle at home. She was busy doing an odd job in jainting.
“Jainting”? You got me.
“I’m the tax collector,” said Shein.
“So I see,” said Mrs. Lytle.
“What will my husband do if he comes home and finds no supper?” asked Mrs. Lytle.
Shein had no reply to this and again warned Mrs. Lytle that non-payers of taxes will go to jail.
Another woman, who is reported to have failed to pay her tax, asserted she was laughed at by her friends when she paid her tax in former years, and she would not be laughed at any longer.
The tax has been imposed to complete the new Darby high school, and is part of $5,000 that is needed. All the men apparently have paid the tax.
Media, Pa., — (U.P.) — Darby’s tax war, which threatened jail for several score of women who refused to pay an annual personal levy, assessed through a law, continued with several hundred women dodging irate collectors or barricading themselves in their homes against them.
None of those whom Borough Tax Collector Robert Shaw threatened with jail if they had not paid their taxes by last night, were behind bars . Many of them paid, according to the collector, and others had, for the time, disappeared.
The borough is levying the tax to get funds to complete the new high school.
Madia, — (U.P.) — The $4.05 personal tax which scores of women in Darby borough defied constables and collectors in refusing to pay, even under threat of being jailed, had amounted to $7.41 for the recalcitrant ones, Collector of Taxes Robert Shaw announced.
The additional “ante” came about through the court costs of issuing and serving summons and commitments papers by constables — when they were served.
The original tax Shaw explained, was $3.85 with a 20-cent fine for delayed payment, and now an additional $3.36 for court costs.
Committment papers were to be served , Shaw said, on those who persisted in defying the tax collector.
The law, passed in , levying an annual personal tax on all voters has not heretofore been enforced against women in Darby borough.
Here is another example from the previous year from a town about 70 miles from Darby:
Lancaster, Pa., — After spending eighty-five hours in the county jail because she refused to pay $6.82 in personal tax, Mrs. Anna Beck, 32 years old, of Murrell, this county, was released .
The tax collector of the district, M.B. Hacker, appeared at the jail and signed her release. He stated that “a friend” had paid the township tax.
The tax collector declared that he has had trouble with Mrs. Beck before and was determined to make a test case of her refusal to pay.
“If I had not collected this tax I feel sure there are many others in he district who would have refused to pay,” he stated.
He acted, he said, under an old statute which gave him the right to seize the body of any one refusing to pay taxes.
Mrs. Beck was obdurate in her refusal to allow her relatives to pay the tax, but the long hours in jail apparently changed her mind.
Lancaster, Pa., — (AP) — Mrs. Anna Beck, of Murrell, who would rather “stay in jail until dooms day” than pay a township tax of $6.82, was still a prisoner in county jail although her tax has been paid.
Claiming, that women should not have to pay taxes, Mrs. Beck, the mother of a year old child, willingly went to prison . She would not pay the tax, she said, and ordered that no one pay it for her. Her husband and friends pleaded with her, but she was adamant.
, however, a neighbor called at the tax collector’s home and paid the necessary amount. The payment was made to a member of the collector’s family, who then telephoned the jail and asked that Mrs. Beck be released. The jailer refused to do so, stating that under the law, the collector, who had placed Mrs. Beck in prison, must appear in person and sign her release. The collector, it was learned, is visiting in another section of the state and no one knows when he will return. Until he comes back, the jailer said. Mrs. Beck will remain in prison.