SIEBOLD FOLLOWER OF PATRICK HENRY
Says “No Taxation Without Representation” – Refuses to Pay Cigar Tax
Benno Seibold, proprietor of a small general store, at 901 Fourteenth street southeast, would like to have the people of the District rally behind him in his appeal for their constitutional rights of representation or no taxation. He has refused to pay his cigar tax, although it has been due since last November, and declares that the law of 1878, which imposes taxation for half of the expenses of the local government upon property owners here, is null and void.
He bases his objection on that portion of the Constitution which provides that all taxes, duties, and imposts shall be uniform throughout the United States. They are not uniform, he says, and so they are not constitutional.
The Government inspectors have called Mr. Siebold’s attention to the fact that he has not paid the cigar tax on two occasions, but he has responded each time that he was not ignorant of the law. They have not offered to arrest him, but he admits that under the statutes he is subject to arrest and he would welcome arrest, as it would give him an opportunity to try out the constitutionality of the law which he refuses to obey.
The annual cigar tax is $12. Mr. Seibold has paid for a liquor license and he has sent in his real estate taxes.
When questioned this morning, he declared he believed with Patrick Henry that “taxation without representation is tyranny,” and the people of the District are being subjected to tyranny every day. He wants several representatives in Congress and also wants all taxation to be the same in the District as outside, which would mean there would be no property taxes at all.
Mr. Seibold is very bitter at the authorities for spending great amount of money in the northwest section while the southeast is neglected.
“Here we are within a mile of the Capitol and you can go out and get stuck in the mud about anywhere along the streets,” he said warmly. “But you can go five or six miles up into the northwest and find that the District is spending all kinds of money. This form of Government we have is rotten, rotten.”
He is preparing several recommendations as to the District government which he will submit to President Taft.
This newspaper article was transcribed from a scan of the original newspaper article on Chronicling America. It is being republished here in order to continue my advocacy for full representation for the American citizens of the District of Columbia.