February 19, 2010


Austin Pilot’s Dispute With IRS Began in Early 1980s, Note Says (Ryan J. Donmoyer, 2/19/10, Bloomberg)

Joseph Stack, the software engineer police say flew a small plane into an Austin, Texas, building housing offices of the Internal Revenue Service, may have been feuding with the U.S. agency for almost 30 years.

In the posting, Stack said his tax troubles began when he was working in Southern California in the 1980s. He described becoming involved in an organization that sought to exploit a tax-code section that exempts churches from taxes.

“We carefully studied the law (with the help of some of the ‘best,’ high-paid experienced tax lawyers in the business) and then began to do exactly what the ‘big boys’ were doing,” Stack wrote in his note, referring to tax exemptions claimed by the Catholic Church. That “little lesson,” he wrote, cost him “$40,000 and 10 years of my life, and set my retirement plans back to 0.”

In a statement yesterday, IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman said his department is “working with law-enforcement agencies to fully investigate the events that led up to this plane crash.”

IRS Targeted

Stack’s posting, which was taken down from his Web site at the request of authorities, mentioned the IRS as a target.

“Violence not only is the answer, it is the only answer,” it said. “Well, Mr. Big Brother IRS man, let’s try something different; take my pound of flesh and sleep well.”

J.J. McNabb, a Bethesda, Maryland, author working on a book about tax protesters who has testified before Congress twice on the subject, said the posting echoes the beliefs of such activists.

“He fits the mold,” she said in an interview. “Blaming the government for your failures in life is unfortunately a big factor in the tax protester movement.”

These are the guys who ought to be on no-fly lists.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 19, 2010 7:05 AM
blog comments powered by Disqus