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Protestants Protest Soviet Tax

The Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies has added its voice to the mounting chorus of protest against a move by the Soviet Union to tax charity dollars sent from abroad to Jews and others in the USSR, it was reported by the Greater New York Conference on Soviet Jewry. The drive against the tax, undertaken by the Conference, is aimed at eliminating the levy which will withhold a tax of 30 percent from all charity money sent to Soviet citizens. This comes on top of an existing charge of 35 percent, thus leaving only 35 cents of each dollar for the aid recipients.

In a wire to the Conference, Joyce Phillips Austin, executive director of the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, said her agency “endorses the Conference’s appeal to obtain equitable treatment for Soviet Jews deprived of full use of funds sent into the Soviet Union for charitable purposes. We support your (the Conference’s) efforts to have the recent additional tax of 30 percent on such funds rescinded.”

Others have denounced the tax on charity dollars earmarked for Soviet Jews. They include Rabbi Paul Kushner of Federation of Jewish Philanthropies, and Rabbi Jack S. Cohen of the Metropolitan Coordinating Council on Jewish Poverty, the United Negro College Fund, Save the Children, Catholic Charities, Goodwill Industries and the Salvation Army. These all criticized the Soviet move, which is particularly aimed at Soviet Jews who have been sought to emigrate from the USSR and who have been fired from their jobs. They rely on this outside money for their very subsistence.

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