Jane Hart, Wife of U.S. Sen. Philip Hart, Refuses to Pay Income Tax

Jane Hart

Among the Americans who started refusing to pay taxes during the Vietnam War was the wife of a United States Senator, who announced her action to the IRS :

Refuses to Pay Taxes

, Mich. (AP) — The wife of Sen. Philip A. Hart, D-Mich., says she has refused to make any more payments on her income tax as a protest against the Vietnam war, Booth Newspapers said in a copyright story.

The eight Michigan newspapers reported that Jane Hart wrote the Internal Revenue Service on , saying she will not make any more payments. She told the IRS she is “ready to accept any sanctions that apply,” the newspapers reported.

Mrs. Hart, heir to a Detroit manufacturing fortune, said she did not include a check for $6,200 in estimated tax payments when she made her quarterly filing on her estimated taxes.

“I cannot contribute one more dollar toward the purchase of more bombs and bullets.” she wrote the IRS. “As a citizen, I feel the kind of desperation that decent Germans must have felt in .”

Senator’s Wife Refuses To Pay Her Income Tax

When Jane Briggs Hart, wife of Michigan Sen. Philip Hart, filed a quarterly report of estimated income on she refused to include a check for $6,200 for tax payment. Now she says she won’t pay another cent in taxes until the Vietnam War ends, Booth Newspapers reported in a copyrighted story from their Washington bureau.

“I cannot contribute one more dollar toward the purchase of more bombs and bullets,” Mrs. Hart wrote in her letter to the Internal Revenue Service.

Mrs. Hart is an heiress to the manufacturing fortune of her father, the late Walter O. Briggs, former owner of the Detroit Tigers. The taxes were toward revenue from that estate.

The senator, however, filed his part of their joint return income tax, although a spokesman for Hart said his sum was “much smaller” than his wife.

Hart told Booth Newspapers that he agreed with his wife’s stand on the war, but could not approve her decision to withhold taxes.

“If every taxpayer had veto power over all federal programs,” he said, “Then there could be no real government.”

“If someone’s conscience is genuinely offended by federal welfare programs or aid to education, don’t you have to allow him the same privilege?” the senator said.

Mrs. Hart said she had been thinking about withholding taxes for a long time but was deterred by her husband’s reasoning.

But when President Nixon escalated the bombing of North Vietnam and then announced the mining of Haiphong Harbor, her decision became firm.

In her letter she wrote: “As a citizen, I feel the kind of desperation that decent Germans must have felt in .”

Another article adds a few more excerpts from her letter:

I can’t be a party to any more of this and still feel like an honest person.

I am convinced that in Vietnam, we are killing innocent people without cause and my conscience just will not allow me to quietly accept that. There is no vital American interest to be served by killing more people and churning up more countryside with bomb craters.

It anguishes me to break the law, and I am willing to accept any sanctions that apply but I cannot silently watch this go on any longer.