National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee

IRS Property Seizures
Against War Tax Resisters

Though rare, the IRS has seized property — usually in the form of vehicles and houses, and sometimes even bicyles — of war tax resisters for unpaid taxes, especially unpaid telephone taxes during the Vietnam War. The other period of unusual property seizures was in the 1980s. Often these seizures (and threats to seize) appear to be intended as blatant attempts at intimidation (to force the resister into cooperating or revealing sources of other assets) than to actually collect money.

[For a list of war tax resisters taken to court by the government, go to nwtrcc.org/convicted_wtr.php.]

The shortest column represents one person (or family) and the tallest is ten people (or families) who had property seized by the IRS for refusing to pay war taxes. The year is when the property was seized, though an auction may have happened in a subsequent year. (Data is as of Feb. 2012.)

property seizures of war tax resisters from 1940 to 2010

1949 Miriam Keeler Washington, DC gold watch seized from safe deposit box; returned the next day
1950 Ammon Hennacy Phoenix, AZ picket sign seized while Hennacy was picketing the IRS office; Hennacy was later told the sign was sold for $5
1951 Walter Gormly Mt. Vernon, IA car IRS seized and auctioned car for income taxes
1951 Art/Caroline Emery Earlham, IA car IRS seized and auctioned for $145 for income taxes
1957 Ray Olds Yellow Springs, OH truck IRS seized truck for income tax refusal
1957 Ray/Jean Olds Yellow Springs, OH house IRS seized home for $160 in refused income tax
1959 Hank Dyer Yellow Springs, OH house IRS seized house; bought back by the Dyers
1967 Neil Haworth New London, CT car IRS auctioned car for $50
1968 Gordon Christiansen New London, CT cars two cars impounded by IRS for refused taxes; bought back after paying taxes
1968 Karl North Rochester, NY car North rescued car during IRS attempt to tow it for $11.29 in unpaid telephone tax
1968 Ashton/Marie Jones Vista, CA car seized for $17 telephone tax; auctioned to used car dealer for $550
1969 Philip K. Dick Berkeley, CA car seized by IRS for tax refusal; 1967 Writers & Editors War Tax Protest signer
1970 Margie McFadden Kansas City, MO car McFadden rescues car during IRS attempt to seize it for unpaid telephone tax
1970 Margie/Ellis Rece Augusta, GA car IRS tries to tow car for unpaid telephone tax but seizes bank account instead
1970 David/Janet Hartsough Washington, DC house IRS seized house for $38.22 tax refusal; house later returned
1970 Bob Marcus Boulder, CO car IRS seized car for $1.25 unpaid telephone tax; auctioned for $277
1970 ? New York, NY car IRS auctioned car of war tax resister
1971 Loran Segal Seattle, WA car seized for $26 unpaid telephone tax; aucitoned for $400 to WTR group
1971 Howard/Paula Cell Germantown, PA car seized for $47.05 refused taxes; eventually returned
1971 George/Lillian Willoughby Philadelphia, PA car seized car for telephone tax refusal; auction to Philly WTR for $123
1971 Martha/Chester Brickett Laconia, NH car car seized for $522 in refused taxes but auction fails because bids too low
1971 Charles Hastings Seattle, WA truck seized for $17.44 unpaid income and telephone taxes
1971 Wally/Juanita Nelson Ojo Caliente, NM cars IRS attempts to seize 2 cars but Juanita removes stickers while Wally sits between tow truck and car
1971 Margie McFadden Kansas City, MO house seized for $300 in unpaid income tax
1972 Alfred/Connie Anderson Berkeley, CA house seized for $36,000 in unpaid taxes; auctioned for $1,500 to friend who returned it to the Andersons
1972 Joe Gerson Tempe, AZ van seized for $19.31 in telephone tax; demonstrators unsuccessfully try to block tow
1972 June Gill Rochester, NY car seized for $8.06 unpaid telephone tax
1972 David Janzen Newton, KS car seized for $31.32 unpaid telephone tax; auction to friend for $501
1972 Allen Zeitlin Salt Lake City, UT car car seized; briefly blocked; later redeemed for $50
1972 ? Austin, TX car IRS attempts tow for telephone tax but neighbor pays them off instead
1972 Arnold Cuba Austin, TX car car auctioned for unpaid $2.44 telephone tax but later freed when bank account seized instead
1972 Franklin Zahn Pomona, CA car car seized by IRS for unpaid $8.68 telephone tax but bank account levied instead
1972 Nancy Moore Austin, TX car IRS sezies car for telephone tax but Moore pays them off before towed
1972 Jim Glock Austin, TX bicycle IRS seized bike for $13 in unpaid telephone tax; auctioned for $50 (1973) for tax & Bekins storage costs
1974 ? Tempe, AZ motorcycle seized for $6 in unpaid telephone tax
1974 Ellen Waters Seattle, WA car seized for $12 telephone tax; returned after $106 seized from bank; excess over $12 eventually returned
1974? Maris/Susan Cakars Rifton, NY car car driven into woods to avoid IRS, which eventually seizes it on a return visit
1975 Gano Peacemakers Cincinnati, OH house mistakenly seized by IRS; auctioned for $25,000; eventually returned after IRS admits error
1975 Paul/Addie Snyder Fremont, MI house house and veterinary clinic/kennels sezied for $3000 unpaid taxes; auctioned to friends for $8450
1976 Laura Negronida Palo Alto, CA car seized for $1854 in refused income taxes; auctioned to towing company for $950
1976 Meg Bowman Philadelphia, PA car auctioned to Friends for $750
1982 Larry/ Lisa Kuenning Oreland, PA car first car seizure of a war tax resister in 6 years
1982 William/Charlotte Kuenning Lombard, IL house IRS seized house but grabs bank acct. instead
1983 Barb/Jim Dale Bedford, IA car IRS seized car (July) but redeemed before auction
1983 Phyllis Good Senesi Kalamazoo, MI car IRS seized car; but no bids at auction
1983 Rev. Cosmas Raimoni Indianapolis, IN car IRS lien for $604 in Nov., then seized car when parish council refused to pay
1984 Robert/Linda Randall Woodstock, GA house bought back for bid amount from “winning” bidder
1984 Robert/Linda Randall Woodstock, GA pickup truck returned by IRS after house auctioned
1984 Donna Johnson Colorado Springs, CO house seizure notice removed because of uncertain title
1984 John/Ruth Affolter Renton, WA house auction cancelled at last minute & money seized from bank
1984 Michael McConnell Chicago, IL house ⅙ share of communal house; due to protests, auction abruptly cancelled last minute
1984 Jerry Hardt Salyersville, KY farm auctioned to supporters
1985 Craig MacDonald Wappingers Falls, NY truck seized then returned by IRS after bank account levy
1985 Miriam Redstone/David Dillman Santa Rosa, CA car seized then auctioned for $105
1985 Karl Meyer Chicago, IL vehicles station wagon and trailer sold for $1,020
1985 David Pascale Atlanta, GA house seized then returned after bank acct. levy; seized again and sold for ½ min. bid
1985 Maureen Flannery/Peter Reilly Hindman, KY car IRS tried but failed to tow car; rescued by ower
1985 John/Pat Schweibert Portland, OR house unbeknownst to Schweiberts, house redeemed from IRS by Schweibert friend for $3300
1985 Eric Skalwold Ithaca, NY car IRS seized car [ultimate disposition unknown]
1987 David Pascale Atlanta, GA house paid $701 minimum bid to redeem house
1988 Anne Johnston Seattle, WA house Feb. 26 IRS delivered seizure notice, later released in favor of a retirement account
1988 Philip/Louise Baldwin Rieman Grundy Ctr, IA car IRS seized and auctioned for $2500; not redeemed
1988 David Pascale Atlanta, GA house seized 3rd time; auctioned, then redeemed from winning bidder
1989? Mary Gleysteen Kingston, WA barn IRS seizes house but released when retirement acct. levied instead
1989 Randy Kehler/Betsy Corner Colrain, MA house after 18 mos. of struggle, buyers leave house at end of 1993
1989 Bob Bady/Pat Morse Colrain, MA house buyer never took possession; buyer eventually given money to settle claim to house
1989 David Pascale Lama, NM car auctioned for $3,100; bought by friend at auction
1990 Paula Rogge Austin, TX car sold to used car dealer for $585
1991 Betsy Wright Springfield, MA car IRS auctions car for $451
1992 Meri Furnari Oakland, CA car redeemed before auction
1994 Pat Washburn Estes Park, CO car IRS nets $67 out of $500 in taxes owed
1996 Art Harvey / Elizabeth Gravanos Hartford, ME house house sold to Eliz. mother and returned to them; blueberry land sold but still leased for blueberries
1999? Joan & Chuck Wittreich Center Moriches, NY house final IRS settlement allowed family member to buy house & continue to live there

SOURCES: The Peacemaker, Peacemakers, 1949–1992; Handbook on the Nonpayment of War Taxes, Peacemakers, 1983; Tax Talk, National War Tax Resistance, 1969–1975; Center Peace, Center on Law & Pacifism, 1981–1985; Conscience, Conscience and Military Tax Campaign, 1982–1994; Network News, 1984–1994, NWTRCC; More Than a Paycheck, 1994 to present, NWTRCC