Nathaniel “NTodd” Pritsky reflects more on his decision to run up the white flag and surrender his state taxes, in his post “Render To Vermont The Things That Are Vermont’s.” He reached an agreement with the State prosecutor to pay the taxes he had been resisting, and shares with us how the throwing-in-the-towel process works.
Much of this process has been amicable since I signaled I would not fight the State. I didn’t retain counsel, which seemed a complete waste in this context, and everything went smoothly. Were I to continue my non-compliance things would go very differently, but this was a tactical retreat and I sought to avoid complications. Despite the fears oft expressed by others when I mention tax resistance, prison is never inevitable if you understand the long, methodical process and where the point of no return lies — no seeking jail time for me at this juncture.
I have other concerns to engage me today: the birth and care of my son being primary.
I never expected this particular tactic to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, nor bring the Military Industrial Complex to its knees. And while I’d hoped that maybe some people would join in WTR as part of the national boycott movement — particularly if they saw a coward like me who loathes change and confrontation get involved — I didn’t delude myself into thinking 150 million Americans would suddenly stick it to The Tax Man.
One can say this experiment was a failure in that it didn’t achieve unrealistic goals that I never set. Yet for me, as Quixotic as the exercise was, it was a success.
It allowed me to withdraw consent in a very tangible way, put my concerns on official record, prove to myself that I could take some risks, etc. The entire multi-year experience has also taught me quite a bit about many things: how other resisters live, how other people react when you discuss tax resistance and other forms of dissent, how the interactions with state apparatus work, what my own limits are, and what ways I might adjust my approach in the future, amongst other things.