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Simon Concerned About New Tax USSR Will Impose on Currency Transfers

Secretary of the Treasury William H. Simon has voiced “deep concern” over a new 30 percent tax that the Soviet Union plans to impose Jan. 1 on all currency transfers to Soviet citizens from abroad, it was reported today by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. Rabbi Israel Miller, chairman of the Conference, released the text of a letter from Simon stating that the American Embassy in Moscow was “making…inquiries” into the tax and that the Treasury Department was “looking into it carefully,”

Simon’s letter to the Conference of Presidents continued: “If the proposed tax is intended as still another deterrent against the emigration of Soviet Jews, we are very much concerned. Even if it is not, such measures surely do not improve the environment we seek to establish for cooperation, nor does it contribute to the resolution of this, difficult issue.”

Replying to Simon, Rabbi Miller deplored the imposition of the new tax and said it would have a “negative effect” on Soviet Jewish emigration. “One of the major weapons being used to harass Jews who apply to emigrate–and to discourage others from even making application–is the loss of their jobs and the means of their support,” Rabbi Miller said. He added; “Many of these courageous people who nevertheless apply for emigration have been sustained by help from their relatives abroad. The new 30 percent tax is confiscatory since it is added to an existing 30 percent tax.”

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