Some tabs that I have flipped through in recent days:
American anti-abortion tax resister Michael Bowman recently triumphed in court,
in a way that should be encouraging to other conscientious tax resisters.
(See ♇ for more background on Bowman’s resistance.) When
the federal government began seizing money from Bowman’s bank account, he
stopped depositing his paychecks, instead cashing them immediately. The
government argued that this amounted to illegal evasion: “Defendant’s
altered bank behavior removed his income from the reach of taxing
authorities and allowed him to avoid payment of assessed taxes.” But the
court agreed with Bowman’s lawyer that Bowman had every right to cash his
checks rather than deposit them, and that as long as he did so in an
ordinary lawful manner, this did not amount to illegal tax evasion.
“Not everything that makes collection efforts more difficult qualifies as evasion,” the judge said.
Bowman still faces charges relating to his refusal to file tax
In , John Stamm remembers demonstrating
against laws which banned blacks from being served in restaurants.
Through , the
St. James resident has
participated in rally after rally for cause upon cause and he still believes
his efforts mean something.
That’s why he stood outside of the Smithtown Post Office on a cold rainy
, among about 10
other demonstrators, rallying for a change in the way the United States spends
citizens’ tax dollars. “It’s a catastrophe the way the government spends most
of our tax money on destructive weapons,” said the 65-year-old State
University of New York at Stony Brook psychology professor.
Mr. Stamm said the government has “erroneous priorities,” particularly in the
way it funnels tax dollars to Central America. He said by demonstrating, he is
nurturing democratic policies. “This kind of peaceful demonstration is
important to our democracy and it should be practiced,” he said.
Mr. Stamm said history has proven that demonstrations work, with the advent of
civil rights laws in due to
demonstrations and the reaction to demonstrations by public officials over the
Vietnam War. “The end of Vietnam was influenced by demonstrations,” said Mr.
Stamm. “Yes, they work. But I think a more important reason is because that’s
the right way to do it. It’s part of our citizenship to do it. It’s part of
The demonstrators reminded taxpayers, who were filing their annual income tax
return at the post office, opened until midnight for taxpayers convenience,
that a portion of the money they paid the federal government is going towards
the war in Central America. “Every El Salvadorian killed because of
U.S. military aid
is also killed because of
paying military taxes,” says a brochure handed out by the protestors.
The brochure encouraged taxpayers to resist paying war tax. “Tax refusal gives
us a means of sharing our growing personal power,” says the brochure. “We can
use our tax money to help empower, free, and support the lives of other
individuals, rather than allowing it to be used against us all.”
Judy Winkler, a demonstrator who says she is a war tax resistor, said she
redirects a portion of her would-be tax dollars to the World Peace Tax Escrow
Account, a Long Island based alternative fund for those unwilling to pay a
percent of their taxes to the government. Ms. Winkler said the group
contributing to the three year old fund was able to donate $500 worth of food
to the the Food Pantry just from the interest the fund has gained.
Ms. Winkler, a freelance editor who works in
St. James and lives in Setauket,
has received numerous letters from the Internal Revenue Service asking for the
money she withheld. But she has not given in. “I’m more afraid of getting
blown up,” she said.
The 43-year-old lived through , she
said, but opposed the way demonstrators communicated their beliefs. “I was not
active in because I felt there was a
lot of violence implicit in the demonstrations,” she said. “Strange as it may
seem, I have become active because I feel optimistic. I love my job I love my
family, and demonstrating is consistent with my values. I feel good doing it.”
New York (UPI) — A
demonstration assailing the use of tax money to finance the Vietnam war drew
barely 50 persons to the Internal Revenue Service building
, compared to thousands at a
similar protest .
A thin line of protesters handed out slices of apple pie symbolizing
government spending. They argued that the war “gets the biggest slice of pie.”
Speakers at the demonstration, organized by War Tax Resistance, included David
Dellinger, one of the five militant leftists found guilty last year of
crossing state lines with the intent to incite a riot at the Democratic
national convention in Chicago in .
This year, as last, the tax protest was held on the last day on which income
tax returns may be legally filed.