Methodist pension board complies with IRS under protest

Levy against war-tax resisters
A Portland, Oregon, couple that has refused for years to pay federal income taxes in a protest against warfare now is at odds with a decision of the pension board of the United Methodist Church.

The General Board of Pension and Health Benefits announced on April 26 that it would continue to comply, under protest, with an Internal Revenue Service levy against John T. Schwiebert, a retired but still active pastor.

The board has drafted a letter to the IRS, arguing that “the levy forces us to be a collection agent . . . in a dispute between the federal government and a church member who is acting out of conscience and long-standing church teaching.”

Schwiebert and his wife, Pat, have refused to pay all or part of their federal income tax since 1977. For the past several years they have paid what they owe the federal government to the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners instead.


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