Tenth International Conference on War Tax Resistance and Peace Tax Campaigns - Brussels, Belgium 2004

Germany

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Netzwerk Friedenssteuer e.V.

Winner of 1993 Aachen Peace Prize

c/o Günther Lott Hauptstr. 1 A D – 69231 Rauenberg phone: 49-6222-62741 fax: 49-6222-62702

Report 2002 – 2004

4.3

A new registered society: organisational structure

What used to be a network has now become a registered society founded on November 22, 2003 with 11 members. Non-profit status has been granted until May 2005. Bodies stipulated by the statutes are:  annual conference of members, executive board, working groups (currently: campaign for legislation, PR activities, Taxes into Ploughshares/churches) and mandated individuals. Members of the executive board are: Friedrich Heilmann (chairman), Hannelore Morgenstern-Przygoda, Sepp Rottmayr (executive director).

Finance

Activities are financed by donations and occasional contributions by churches. In November 2004, a budget is to be adopted for the first time. Activities are mostly voluntary and rarely remunerated or contract-based.

Tasks (according to Statutes)

Netzwerk Friedenssteuer e.V. is a registered society with the exclusive and direct purpose of  spiritually and ethically promoting the general public. It shall promote international understanding, membership and cooperation (content, staff, finance) in CPTI, organise international conferences in Germany and support participation in international encounters abroad. It shall promote science and research, in particular research of the constitutional aspects of fiscal law in the context of § 4, German Constitution (freedom of religion and conscience). For this purpose it shall collect and document national and international literature, parliamentary bills and case law as well as support scientific activities in this field. It shall educate the general public by way of public lectures, discussions, information and seminar events as well as signature campaigns, conversations and publications, which raise awareness of  the individual's responsibility for war and peace in particular through his or her tax payments and discuss possible legislation to remedy this. It is a non-profit association. No profit is sought. 

Activities

New: Concept for a Civilian tax bill, November 2003:

  1. This Civilian Tax Law will require a dependent separate fund, German Military Fund, to be set up by the German government and administered by the Minister of Defence.
  2. The German Military Fund is to finance all expenses concerning the military and armaments. Outside this fund, no taxpayer's money shall be earmarked to this purpose. Contributions or loans from the federal states or other tax funded entities to the German Military Fund shall not be allowed.
  3. The German Military Fund shall be exclusively funded by a percentage of income and/or payroll tax. The federal states' share in income tax shall not be affected. The percentage shall be determined once a year by Parliament's budget law.
  4. Pursuant to §4 German Constitution, persons subject to income or payroll tax shall have the right to have their income and/or payroll tax directed 100% to the civilian budget (civilian tax payers).

Netzwerk Friedenssteuer expects the joint commitment of all WTR and PTC organisations to enshrining the right to conscientious objection and military tax resistance in the European Constitution and to a clear separation of civilian and military expenditure at the European level.

New: 5 Peace Movement Campaigns

In September 2003, Netzwerk Friedenssteuer attended the first strategy conference of the German organisation Cooperation for Peace. A decision was taken to develop 5 campaigns to be supported by member organisations: One campaign comprises two parts: cut military expenditure, 5% campaign and Redirect taxes to peace. This is the first time Netzwerk Friedenssteuer is in intensive contact with the German peace movement. Cooperation for Peace have drawn up guidelines for peace.

In September 2003, NWFS celebrated its 20th anniversary with a nice little party in Heidelberg, where it was founded.