April 14, 2008
Internal Revenue Service
P.O. Box 37008
Hartford, CT 06176
To the Internal Revenue Service:
In the attached 1040, you will notice that the amount indicated on line 75 is less than the total required by the federal government. This discrepancy is intentional, as my conscience and religious faith have spurred me to withhold partial payment. I do this in protest of the current U.S. policy of war and war making, which in 2006 amounted to $515 billion, comparable to the military spending of the next 15 highest spending countries combined.
It is clear to me that combatants are not the only ones who participate in the carnage of war; ordinary citizens like me also bear some responsibility in keeping the U.S. war apparatus well-funded. In lieu of giving the full amount of my income tax, I will give $50.00 to the Mennonite Central Committee’s Iraq Emergency Assistance Fund. I believe funding for this effort and those of like-minded organizations can more effectively build peace than military spending.
I understand the serious legal consequences of this action and have only settled on it after much discernment. I look to the instructive examples set by people like Dr. Martin Luther King and Mohandas Gandhi, individuals whose visions of coexistence helped improve our world.
I agree with many other war tax resisters that we are legally required to pay taxes but that we do not have to do so in a way that interferes with our free exercise of faith and belief. For this reason I fully support for passage of the Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund Bill (currently H.R. 1921), which will ensure the increase of federal revenue for non-military expenses and preserve the constitutional rights of all U.S. residents.
cc: Congressmen Chaka Fattah
Senator Robert Casey, Jr.
Senator Arlen Specter
Mennonite Central Committee