Thursday, April 24, 2008

[April 12, 2008]

Queensbury man continues income tax fight: Federal authorities call Schulz's latest effort a "tax-fraud scheme"

(Times Union (Albany, NY) (KRT) Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge) Apr. 12--QUEENSBURY -- Robert L. Schulz is still fighting to stop income tax from coming out of your paycheck.

An engineer by training and a gadfly from experience, Schulz heads the group We The People Foundation for Constitutional Education and We the People Congress.

For years, he has been offering his "Legal Termination of Tax Withholding" package, in which he says workers have a right to ask their employers to stop withholding income tax. Schulz encourages workers to press their employers to check into the matter.

This has not pleased the U.S. government, which has its own thoughts on the matter. Officials describe Schulz's principles as a "tax-fraud scheme" to "assist customers in evading their federal tax liabilities."

Schulz "relied on fringe opinions of known tax protesters whose theories have repeatedly been rejected by courts across the country," a court ruled in 2007.

That was four years after Schulz began passing out his Legal Termination papers.

He appealed, but in February a judge from the U.S. Court of Appeals for Second Circuit ruled Schulz had to stop distributing the materials. The court also said he had to provide the Internal Revenue Service with the names, addresses and Social Security numbers of anyone who received a kit.

On Monday, Schulz filed a petition asking the court for a rehearing, seeking to reverse the decision or have it dismissed. The same day, an attorney with the U.S. Attorney's Office charged Schulz with contempt, asking the court to fine Schulz $2,000 per day until he complies with the ruling.

The U.S. Department of Justice declined to comment.

To Schulz, 68, it's just another day running a nonprofit organization dedicated to teaching the public about the rules of government. For the record, Schulz does not pay income tax -- he funds his project by selling off parcels of land on his property not far from Lake George. He pays capital gains tax.

Schulz began his career as an engineer at General Electric Co. He wound up working for governors in Connecticut and New York, and spent some time as an investment banker. But it was in 1979 that his second career as a rabble rouser came into its own.

That was when he successfully sued to prevent Warren County and Queensbury from running a sewer line from Lake George to the Hudson River. Schulz said the project would benefit local politicians, who wanted to bring a casino to the area. Six years later, he says, the town tried to block him from building a road to access land on his property.

"I've learned government will hurt you simply because they don't like you," Schulz said. "They can be vindictive. I've been led to believe government is benevolent -- I was so naive."

Since then, Schulz has fought state bond acts, run for governor (after Howard Stern dropped out in 1994), and become a hero to taxpayers' rights groups. In 2001, he went on a hunger strike against the income tax.

"I just try to hold people accountable," he said. "That's what I've dedicated the rest of my life to." Wechsler can be reached at 454-5469 or by e-mail at

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