Some bits and pieces from here and there:
- Now’s a good time to sign up for the NWTRCC National Gathering in Kansas City .
- The Tax Update Blog notes the rise in the number of Americans who are expatriating and renouncing citizenship. Joe Kristan attributes this to new government regulations requiring Americans who live and work overseas to report the details of their bank accounts to the IRS or face draconian fines.
- Robert Burrowes gives an update on the state of war tax resistance in Australia.
War tax resistance in Australia is difficult not only because few people have the required level of commitment but also because of the government’s high level of control over tax payments (employers are required to deduct tax from income before the employee gets it and this is done in such a way that most emplyoyees get a refund after submitting their annual tax return).
…the ATO has already used most of its powers against me: seizing my bank account (), garnisheeing wages (twice), bankruptcy (, effectively for life because I will not cooperate), a contempt of court conviction for refusing to cooperate with the bankruptcy trustee () and seizure of my passport ().
- NWTRCC has released a brief outreach flier about Anarchists and War Tax Resistance that tries to show how war tax resistance as a tactic fits in to anarchist activism.
- Some grist for the progressive mill: The Conservative Nanny State: How the Wealthy Use the Government to Stay Rich and Get Richer and Don’t Tax the Rich, Smash Their Privilege
- June Farrow, a 72-year-old from England, is resisting her council tax — or most of it anyway — on the grounds that she simply can’t afford it. “It didn’t bother me going to court because I feel that somebody’s got to speak up for all pensioners who often cannot speak up for themselves. They’ll probably send the bailiffs in, but I haven’t got anything in this house that’s worth anything. I’ve sold everything off to help me stay in my home, unless they’d like to take the dog — she’s the only valuable thing I’ve got.… They’ve told me that if I spend my savings — another £3,000 — I will get benefits. I don’t want benefits. I’m an independent person and I like to try and look after myself. Hundreds of pensioners are in the same position as me and the law has got to be changed.” Here’s another, more detailed article about the Farrow case.
Speaking of council tax resisters, here’s another one, from :
Courier refused to pay council tax while travellers camped at layby
A north-east man who staged a council-tax protest against travellers camped illegally near his home has been told his bank account could be frozen and his property seized.
Billy Thomson told Aberdeenshire Council he would not pay his council tax while travellers were camped in a layby at Garlogie.
Now, the authority has called in sheriff officers, who have threatened to freeze the self-employed courier’s bank account and seize property from his home in an attempt to force him to pay the £700 bill.
The 59-year-old first took a stand against the authority when caravans were parked in the layby on the B9119 Aberdeen to Echt road for nearly a year in .
When the travellers left he began paying his council tax again, but stopped in when travellers camped there for about four months.
The layby has since been shut to prevent travellers from returning.
Mr Thomson, of Garlogie Cottages, said he respected travellers’ rights, but criticised the council for “persecuting me, but not them”.
He said: “While the travellers were parked there no one could use the layby, and it had been a well-used service.
“I decided that from then on, when these people are parked there without paying council tax, neither would I.
“I know a lot of travellers — they are decent people and I respect their choice of lifestyle, but Aberdeenshire Council has shown double standards.”
Mr Thomson said he first received notice that Aberdeenshire Council was seeking the unpaid tax when he received a letter from the authority earlier .
He said he took the letter to the council’s Inverurie office seeking an explanation as to why the authority was seeking payment from him but not the travellers, but “never got a straight answer”.
“I cannot see any difference between me not paying my council tax and the travellers not paying it,” he said.
A spokesman for Aberdeenshire Council said: “We take the recovery of council tax very seriously and we continue to make efforts to collect tax which has not been paid.”
For those of you who don’t speak English as the English do, “travellers” I think refers to either vagrants, gypsies, or Irish Travellers; while a “lay-by” is something like a highway rest stop.
Protest at bumpy road danger zone
A former landlady who claims her life is being made a “misery” by unfinished speed bumps is making a council tax protest.
June Robinson has cancelled her council tax direct debit in a bid to make council bosses listen to her pleas for help.
The 62-year-old is kept awake by traffic bumping over four unfinished speed ramps at the junction of Beach Road and Beach Avenue in Cleveleys.
She said: “It’s made my life a misery. It’s been going on 10 weeks — bang, bump everyday. I wake up at 5am with the bangs. I’ve got a crack in my bedroom because of the vibrations.…”
These all have in common a mode of tax resistance that’s relatively rare in the United States — refusing to pay a tax because the government is charging too much or providing too little in return, as though the government were a subscription you could cancel when you decided it wasn’t worth the cost (would that it were).