Walter Gormly Tells I.R.S. He Will Not Pay

From a the-news-in-brief column in The Miami News on :

War and Taxes: Iowa pacifist Walter Gormley, of Mount Vernon, who has refused to pay his income tax , did it again in an “open letter” to the Internal Revenue Service, saying he would not pay the current levy “to support the war policies” of the government; as in the past, IRS agents prepared to confiscate his property and intercept debts owed him to get their share of his income… And remember, the government has postponed the income tax due date from to .

And from the Chicago News Examiner from , an article by Marj Halperin:

Bag the tea, here’s a tax protest with a more focused message

The conservative call to send teabags to DC to protest high taxes may be based on a event, but organizers are newbies when compared to a 23-year-old tax protest underway in northern Indiana.

There, peace activists gave been quietly supporting those who dare to withhold taxes because they don’t want their money to support the US military budget. There’s a price to pay for that kind of protest, of course, in the form of penalties and interest on taxes due. That’s where the War Tax Resisters Penalty Fund (WTRPF) comes in.

Organizers send out appeal letters from time to time, asking for contributions from those who agree with the protest but don’t have the nerve — or resources — to withhold their own taxes. Each letter briefly describes the status of individuals who have withheld their taxes.

San Francisco’s David Gross stopped paying federal income taxes when the US invaded Iraq, “and started working for my values instead of against them.” He quit his job and reduced his income to the point where he no longer owes federal income tax, and discusses his efforts on the web.

A former nun from North Carolina owes $1,749 in penalties for withholding taxes in . “I cannot in conscience pay for war and killing, weapons and bombs… these our federal taxes perpetuate,” she writes in the latest appeal to supporters.

A brunswick, Georgia activist cites “the First Amendment of the US Constitution and certain US treaty obligations to honor the religious practices of its citizens” when he withholds federal taxes in opposition to war, adding “the government has provided me no way of paying taxes which does not violate my faith in God.” In return, his paycheck has been garnisheed to collect $7.027 in interest and penalties.

The WTRPF asks only for what it needs. The current appeal went to 300 active contributors, asking each for $33.63 to raise a total of $10,089 (including $300 for postage and printing, $200 for the WTRPF organization). Non profit fundraising doesn’t get much more honest than that.

So, while the conservatives’ “national day of protest” is good for plenty of air time, the WTRPF has a no-frills approach to protesting the military budget — one that also helps individuals feel like they’re making a difference.