The war on war tax 

War-tax resistance is "as American as the Boston Tea Party," according to Peter Haney, cultural anthropologist and dynamic peacemaking director of the Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission.

With a warm smile in the group's downtown office (kept fairly cold to conserve energy), local activist Esther Kisamore explains that virtually any of your individual federal income taxes and some excise taxes can be allocated to U.S. war operations.

One way to take a stand, she and Haney explain, is to live a simpler lifestyle; if you keep your income level low, you may be able to avoid filing a federal income tax return. Activists will talk about these and other, less drastic, methods of avoiding "war taxes" at the PPJPC this weekend.

Kisamore says the last time she chose to live above poverty line (over 20 years ago), she decided not to file. Doing this does put you at risk of legal retaliation. Kisamore who knows of people who have suffered harsh consequences says she was fined only about half of what was originally required to pay.

Whatever size the sacrifice may be, the PPJPC encourages people to act as the American occupation of Iraq approaches its fifth anniversary. Peace activists across the country are telling Congress that if it won't stop war funding, the citizenry will.

"We don't believe in war and we don't believe in killing," says Kisamore. "So why pay other people to do it?"

War Tax Resistance Workshop
Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission office, 214 E. Vermijo Ave.
Sunday, Feb. 17, 2-4 p.m.
Free; call 632-6189 for more, or visit ppjp.org.


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