Taxes

New Hampshire Tax Rebel Siege: Closer to Confrontation?

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Things sound like they are heating up, in a bad way, for New Hampshire tax rebels Ed and Elaine Brown. They were convicted back in January for not paying income tax–laws that they insist are fictional. They've been holed up in their Plainfield, NH, home ever since. Here's the latest from the Concord Monitor:

U.S. Marshals and local police brought armored cars, SWAT teams and an explosives disposal unit. Planes flew overhead, heavily armed police officers guarded roadblocks, and phone lines were cut. But despite the heavy police presence, marshals said they did not come to the Plainfield home of tax protesters Ed and Elaine Brown yesterday to arrest them.

Instead, U.S. Marshal Stephen Monier said police were in the area to do surveillance on Ed Brown and his supporters while an IRS criminal investigation unit seized a building the couple own 10 miles away.

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Monier said the marshals and IRS agents were acting on a warrant issued earlier this week, which allowed the treasury department to seize the building that housed Elaine Brown's West Lebanon dental practice. Agents wearing "IRS CID" vests were visible in front of the office complex yesterday, but they would not speak to reporters. Cars and trucks parked in the driveway included license plates from Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey. An officer with a sniper rifle was stationed on a second-story balcony.

Marshals patroling the perimeter of Brown's homestead also detained a family friend who was walking the Browns' dog. Brown continues to insist he will not go quietly:

"I would say to the marshal, and all of those people responsible for any unlawful action, to be very apprehensive and very nervous about conducting any criminal activity against our land or ourselves," Brown said. "We are a very reciprocal people. You do us good, we do you good. You do us bad, we're gonna do you bad. It's that simple."

Previous blogging on this situation. The Browns' own web site. My 2004 reason feature article on people, like the Browns, who believe there is no legal obligation to pay income tax.