National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee

Taxes for Need Not Wars and Greed!

That was the theme of the tax day protest in Media, Pennsylvania. It's also a good theme for this report about some of the redirections we heard about in April 2014. We'll add more reports as they come in.

Some of the redirections are from organized alternative funds, others come from groups of individuals who pool their resisted war taxes each year and then decide collectively on grants.

Along with the group redirections, we know that individual war tax resisters around the country make their own redirection choice. We'll make note of these when individuals send them in.

Northern Calfornia War Tax Resistance's People’s Life Fund

Berkeley redirection April 2014 On April 13, 2014, Northern Calfornia War Tax Resistance's People’s Life Fund gave out a record $32,000 in resisted taxes to groups working towards social justice and peace. The granting ceremony was held at the Berkeley Fellowship if Unitarian Universalists. Twenty-seven groups working towards social justice and peace received grants. The full list is on the NCPLF website. Pictured, Jay Sordean of Northern California War Tax Resistance presents a check to Rhonda Ramiro of BAYAN-USA.

Report: Jon Marley, Photo by Susan Quinlan

Portland war tax resisters redirectionOregon Community of War Tax Resisters

Every year around tax day, a group of us in Portland tally the amount of federal taxes that we refuse to pay. We gather that money together and choose instead local groups (usually non-profits or all volunteer-run groups) that are underfunded due to the bloated military budget... We always give to one (or more) Veterans groups, as it is not the individuals we are protesting, rather our governments policies. This year we gave close to $7,000 to five local groups:

Food Not Bombs — serves meals in parks to houseless people and anyone who needs a good hot meal.
Books to Prisoners — an all-volunteer group that sends books to prisoners nationwide and free of charge.
Keys not Handcuffs — a local housing program that supports people in ways to stay out of jail/prison (see how this is all connected??!!)
Returning Veterans Bridge Fund — A group through St. Luke's church that gives grants to vets in need for utilities, housing deposit, etc. (the government doesn't always give the support needed!)
Peace Park — The local chapter of Vets for Peace has constructed a park at the east end of the Steele bridge with pathways in the shape of a peace sign!  Native and drought tolerant plants chosen as funds are not available to actually water the plants (incredibly high water rates here, believe it or not) and the city won't pay for it.

We do this publicly each year, as we want to be as outspoken as possible about what an incredible waste of money war is, and how that money can be used instead to support life-affirming, positive, and peaceful groups that make an valuable impact in our community. Some of us refuse to pay a small amount and others a very large sum, but the important part of this is that collectively we can make a big difference!

This is also a great opportunity to meet others and become familiar with the work they are doing and to find ways to support each other.

—Kima Garrison

Taxes for Peace Not War, Eugene, Oregon

Sue Barnhart tax day redirctionWar tax resisters in Eugene include their individual tax redirection as part of the tax day action that they co-sponsor with other gruops. The redirection is a focal point of the day, and resisters talk aboutwhy they refuse to give some or all of their taxes to the IRS. Groups that are recieving the funds are invited to attend. At the april 15 event, three resisters presented checks amounting to $700 to about 10 groups, most of whom were present to receive them. We were interviewed on Tax Day by a couple of TV stations and covered on our local public radio station.

Pictured, Sue Barnhart announcing a redirection.

Conscience and Military Tax Campaign Escrow Fund, Asheville, NC

On Saturday, March 30, the Conscience and Military Tax Campaign's Oversight Committee met and reviewed 33 grant applications. We decided to grant $10,900 to 18 organizations that had submitted applications as follows:

VFP Grants

African Conflict Zone Grants

Saint Louis Grants

Additional Grants

"We redirect our taxes because they are neither the Pentagon's nor ours.  They are a portion of our resources that belong to the common good.  Redirection is our version of Gandhi's constructive program.  It is the fruit of our deeply rooted resistance."

—Bill Ramsey

Click here for the list of alternative funds.