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

National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund (NCPTF)

2121 Decatur Place, NW, Washington, DC 20008

4.10

Tel: 202-483-3751; Fax: 202-986-0667

e-mail: marianfranz@peacetaxfund.org (the current address is info@peacetaxfund.org - webweaver 17 September 2007);www.peacetaxfund.org

Peace Tax Foundation

Same address

The National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund NCPTF) was founded in 1971 to address the basic issue of conscientious objection to war as it relates to the payment of taxes. NCPTF is organized solely to promote legislation to allow citizens who are conscientious objectors to pay their full tax liability without violating fundamental moral, ethical, or religious beliefs.  A sister organization, The Peace Tax Foundation is dedicated to education and research. It educates the public about alternative tax payment programs that are based on moral, religious and ethical opposition to participation in war. It may also engage in activities such as research, publications dissemination, workshops, and conferences. Contributions to the Foundation are tax deductible.  Contributions to the Campaign are not.

Staff

The staff is made up of four persons who make up an equivalent of three full time persons.  Marian Franz is Executive Director and lobbyist. Tim Godshall is Director of Outreach and Development.  Kelsey Knight-King is Administrative Assistant.  Jennifer Beall is Outreach/ Development Assistant. 

The Campaign's Board of Directors meets twice a year.  It has ten elected board members and seven others appointed by other religious bodies and organizations. Current religious and peace organizations represented are:  Roman Catholic, Quakers, Mennonites, Jewish Peace Fellowship, Muslim, Presbyterian Church ( USA), Church of the Brethren, Episcopal Peace Fellowship, and the United Methodist Church.  Board members serve on committees for finance, nominations, development and long range planning, personnel, and field work/media/outreach. The Peace Tax Foundation has an additional board member . 

Legislative History of The Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund Bill

The Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund Bill (formerly named the World Peace Tax Fund Bill and the US Peace Tax Fund Bill) was first introduced in the US House of Representatives in 1972 and in the US Senate in 1975.  The Bill has been introduced in the House every Congress since.  We currently have no bill in the Senate because only members of the Democratic party wish to sponsor it.  Since the Republican party is in power, we also need a Republican to sponsor the bill. The Bill has undergone several changes.  It no longer specifies where the CO's money would go, but states simply that tax payments from conscientious objectors could be spent for any other purpose for which the government appropriates money, but could not be spent for any military purpose.  

Lobbying

Marian Franz lobbies members of Congress and their staffs. She is sometimes accompanied by leaders from other religious organizations who officially support the Peace Tax legislation.  She consults with a group of leaders from these groups.

A Legislative Advisory Group is available for consultation with the lobbyist and occasionally assists with lobby visits. The Legislative Advisory Group is comprised of representatives from the Church of the Brethren, Friends Committee on National Legislation, Presbyterian Church ( USA), United Methodist Church and Mennonite Central Committee. These organizations have officially endorsed the effort.  

During the administration of President Clinton we had several visits in the White House and the Department of the Treasury.  

Grassroots

Politically, the United States is divided into 435 congressional districts, each of which elect a representative to the House of Representatives.  In addition there are 100 Senators, two each from the 50 states. 

Activists in the political districts volunteer to be congressional district contacts. At present we have 30 congressional district contacts who have committed to do a major amount of work to promote the RFPTF Bill in their districts.  We also have congregational contacts in some churches. 

These contacts and other activists make progress by printing information in other organizations' newsletters, writing letters to Congress and organizing others to do so. They ask their congregation or social justice group to ‘endorse’ the Campaign, thereby activating the awareness of others. Other initiatives include putting posters up on college campuses, leading introductory evenings, writing to local newspapers, and taking up collections to buy ad space in newspapers. 

Support

Initially, support came mainly from the Historic Peace Churches (Mennonites, Quakers, Church of the Brethren).  In the 1980s, large bodies such as the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the United Methodist Church took official actions of support.  More recently we have received support for organizations which are not pacifist, but are concerned  that, without such a bill, there is a violation of freedom of conscience and belief.  The New York City Council is considering a resolution urging Congress to  pass the Peace Tax Fund bill.  This surprising resolution (from a city that was the target of a terrorist attack) can become a pattern for other cities.

There are 4,000 on our mailing list.  Of these, 1,300 are national and local religious and peace groups. The remainder are individuals.  We produce a newsletter, Peace Tax Fund Update, four times a year.

The budget for the National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund for 2004 is $97,000 for the Campaign and $61,000 for the Foundation.   Voluntary contributions from some 2,000 individuals and from organizations who support our activities. Basic support is from corporate religious bodies.  

Publications and other resources

produced by our organizations  are:  

Publications produced by other organizations  are:

Report by Marian Franz, July 2004