War Resisters Redirect Taxes to Charity in Vermont

In Battleboro, Vermont, war tax resisters held a ceremony in which they redirected a few thousand dollars from the IRS to community groups. The Times Argus covered the ceremony, at which resisters Daniel Sicken, Ellen Kaye, and Lou Waronker.

Ellen Kaye of Brattleboro, who was holding a hand-painted sign that said, “I Haven’t Bought A Bomb ,” said she decided in that she just couldn’t send money to the federal government to use on military actions.

And Berkeley’s KPFA covered war tax resistance on their Sunday Salon program. Dean Baker of the Center for Economic Policy Research and Jeremy Scahill (author of Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army) presented the problem, and area war tax resister Jon Marley promoted a solution. Host Larry Bensky talked about his own tax resistance from years ago. (If you download the archived broadcast, the tax-themed segment starts at 67:45.)

Author Marcy Sheiner contemplates tax resistance at Dirty Laundry:

America has a long tradition of tax resisters who, by various methods, pay no taxes or withhold the portion earmarked for war. Some people never even file tax forms — but, unfortunately, once you file you have to keep on doing it or risk big trouble. I’ve heard of one woman who refuses to pay any taxes except for Social Security, and gives the money to war victims instead, fully informing the IRS what she’s doing. Now… it’s not an understatement to say the IRS can ruin your life. Although home seizures are rare, it’s been known to happen. Less rare is the garnishing of wages. Even if they don’t take direct action against you, tax debt goes onto your credit report, and is taken far more seriously by lenders than outstanding credit cards or medical bills. You may never be able to get a loan at all — so if you think you might want to buy a house or even just a car someday, be forewarned. If you still want to consider tax resistance, the War Resisters League publishes a how-to manual.

The last stage before deciding to resist taxes is to list all of the reasons (and exaggerate them a bit) why it’s just too scary and difficult to become a tax resister. So I expect we’ll have Sheiner in our camp before long.