War Tax Resisters Redirect Taxes to Aid War Victims

Here’s another good example of the tactic of tax redirection, as found in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania New Courier:

Protest cash put to work

 — More than $350 in federal telephone excise taxes withheld by a group of antiwar tax resisters will provide a set of eye-surgery instruments and two portable oxygen life-support systems for a Hanoi hospital demolished in last December’s bombing.

The much-needed equipment will be sent by a new organization called Medical Aid for Indochina, which received the donation from War Tax Resistance.

Ironically, in a completely independent action, MAI also received a $50 donation from a dozen employes of Illinois Bell telephone to send another portable oxygen system to Bach Mai hospital.

Mark Sherman, coordinator of War Tax Resistance, said his group will focus on utilizing the withheld federal telephone tax for supplying medical aid to North Vietnam.

The 10 per cent excise tax, which was to expire in , was extended specifically to pay the rising costs of the Vietnam war and has been for several years the target of groups seeking to use economic power to end the war.

Supporters of WTR say nonpayment incurs virtually no risk of prosecution by the Internal Revenue Service and little effort is made to collect the withheld amount.

Sherman urged the general public to withhold the next three months telephone taxes for the campaign to rebuild Bach Mai. Funds can be sent to Telephone Tax Relief Fund, Hyde Park Federal Savings, 5250 S. Lake Park, Chicago, or to Medical Aid for Indochina, 109 N. Dearborn, Chicago.

MAI was established in Chicago by a group of civic, religious and political leaders including U.S. Rep. Ralph Metcalfe, State Rep. Robert E. Mann, former Congressman Abner J. Mikva, Ald. Dick Simpson, former Illinois Lieut. Gov. Paul Simon and several state and county health officials.

It is part of a nationwide effort to rebuild Bach Mai hospital and provide a wide range of medical supplies and equipment to North Vietnam and liberation forces in South Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.