Caroline Urie Refuses to Pay War Taxes

Here is a more extensive version of an article on Caroline Urie’s war tax resistance that I first noted :

Won’t Support Military With Income Tax

Navy Officer’s Widow Pays 65.4 Per Cent; Figures Rest Slated For War Purposes

A white-haired widow of a career naval officer challenged the government’s right to tax her for military expenses.

Mrs. Caroline Urie figured that 34.6 per cent of her tax — due  — was earmarked for war.

So, she explained, she wrote a letter to President Truman and the internal revenue department advising she would pay only 65.4 [percent] of the tax.

“If they want to send me to jail because I won’t pay the other 34.6 per cent, that’s all right with me,” she said. “I’m perfectly willing to go to jail. I’ll never pay any more money for war.”

Mrs. Urie, a Quaker, a Pacifist and a social worker,” [sic] worked with Jane Adams at Chicago’s famed Hull house and was director of the school for immigrant children for five years. She wrote Mr. Truman and internal revenue officials:

“As a Christian, I must henceforth refuse to contribute in any way to maintaining the institution of war.”

Besides, she added, the atomic bomb has made war a “final criminal absurdity.”

Mrs. Urie doesn’t want people to get the impression she’s dodging that “war tax.” She mailed 34.6 per cent of her tax to four Pacifist organizations — “every one of them non-profit” — and sent receipts for her contributions with the tax return.

Mrs. Urie, who refused to give her age (“just call me a white-haired widow — a very aged widow at that”), admitted she and her late husband often disagreed on her military views.

“For years I used to send a note along with my federal income tax return protesting expenditures for the military,” she explained. “But my husband and I agreed to tolerate each other’s views on the subject.”

Her husband was a medical officer in the navy “for many, many years.” He was retired before World war Ⅱ, she said, because of injuries suffered in a target practice explosion on a battleship.

She had a son-in-law in the army during World war Ⅱ.

“He doesn’t agree with me either,” she laughed.

Mrs. Urie said she has nothing against paying taxes “for any reasonable constructive purposes — like schools, police protection,” and the like.

“The government won’t lose much in war taxes from me because I have small independent means — and live in a rented house,” she said. “It’s the principle that’s important to me. Obediance to governmental authority can not be unlimited.”

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