Priest Refuses Tax Payment
Cleveland, Ohio (AP) — The superintendent of schools in the Cleveland Catholic Diocese said that he was willing to withhold tax payments, even if it meant “that I am to be prosecuted,” to protest a federal court ban on state aid to parochial schools.
Msgr. William Novicky in a statement compared the situation that Catholic parents now face with the civil rights movement.
“Blacks rallied behind such leaders as Dr. Martin Luther King, who declared if a law is unjust and unfair it should be disobeyed in the pursuit of freedom,” Msgr. Novicky said. “Blacks were beaten, hosed, chased by dogs and were jailed, but they persisted.
“And the courts took note of the black man’s struggle.”
Msgr. Novicky said he abhors violence or destruction of property, but is “prepared to suffer the consequences” of withholding taxes.
He said refusing to pay taxes strikes at the “double burden of taxation every parent must pay who has a child in a nonpublic school.”
, after the Supreme Court declared a voucher plan unconstitutional, Novicky had another idea. He recommended that his school board eliminate tuition and instead run the school on money collected from donations to the church. Such donations are tax deductible, while, under the law Novicky opposed, tuition to private religious schools is not.