We Won’t Pay Taxes for a Communist’s Salary, Veterans Vow

From the New York Sun on comes this example of tax strikers using escrow accounts to ward off reprisals and blunt criticism:

Novel Protest Against Gerson

Richmond Hill Veterans Vote a Tax Strike.

Hope to Spread Movement

Will Refuse to Pay Property Levy as Long as Red Holds Office.

One of the most novel of the many protests against the retention of Simon W. Gerson, a communist, on the city’s pay roll has been devised by members of the Richmond Hill War Veterans Post who, it was learned today, have voted to pay no more taxes on their property so long as Mr. Gerson remains on the salary list as confidential investigator to Borough President Isaacs.

Members of the post not only voted to take such action themselves, but to urge their friends and other posts of their organization in the city to join in the campaign. They believe that the legal difficulty involved in non-payment of taxes can be solved by having each “tax striker” put his tax money in the bank in escrow, to be released to the city whenever Mr. Gerson is dismissed.

The protest of the veterans is the more striking because, of the 149 members of the post, 98 per cent are property owners. They reason that if the city cannot collect taxes it cannot continue to pay the salary of the communist they feel should not be receiving pay even indirectly from them.

Veterans’ Resolution.

The resolution which the veterans empowered their executive committee to draw up was made public by William F. McCumiskey, post commander. It follows:

“Be it resolved that insofar as the Mayor of the City of New York and the President of the Borough of Manhattan have seen fit to ignore the protest formally taken by our organization and countless other organizations and citizens of our city and State against the appointment of Simon W. Gerson as confidential adviser and secretary to the Borough of Manhattan and have seen fit to retain Mr. Gerson as a public servant on the city pay roll and Mr. Gerson still continues to act as a public servant of the City of New York, although an avowed communist, and as such an open enemy to the Constitution of the United States and the principles upon which our country is founded.

“We, the members of this post, refuse to be a party to the action taken by our public officials and pledge ourselves to do everything in our power to bring the career of Mr. Gerson as a public official to a close as speedily as possible by refusing to pay our taxes now due on our property, so that the funds necessary to supply Mr. Gerson with his weekly pay check may not be available to our Mayor and President of the Borough of Manhattan, and

“We further resolve that we will request our friends and neighbors and other fellow citizens that we come in contact with to pursue the same course of action.

“We further resolve that copies of this resolution be forwarded to the county, State and national departments of our organization, with the request that they take similar action.

“Be it further resolved, also, that copies of this resolution be forwarded to the Mayor of the city of New York and to the President of the Borough of Manhattan.”

Gerson continued in the post until . He then became the campaign manager of Pete Cacchione, who ran a victorious campaign for New York City Council as a Communist. He joined the U.S. military and served in the infantry in World War Ⅱ. I saw no sign that he joined the Richmond Hill War Veterans Post on his return home. He died in , after a lifetime of service to the Communist Party of the U.S.