The Zacchaeus Tax Campaign calls for a global tax and economic system that acts like Zacchaeus, the tax collector who repented of his wicked ways, to deliver equity and make reparation for exploitation and injustice. To both educate and enable churches to organize around the issue of tax justice, the campaign has recently released the ZacTax Toolkit.
The campaign advocates for tax justice, addressing social and ecological debts, including reparations for colonialism and slavery, at local, national and global levels. The campaign serves both to educate churches about the issues involved while advocating for tax justice and reparations at the highest level.
“Taxation is an important tool for sharing wealth equitably within and across countries as well as for holding corporations and citizens accountable for their responsibility towards upholding the common good, including care for the global ecological commons,” states the introduction to the Toolkit.
“Churches can and ought to play an important role in encouraging national and international systems of taxation that: reward work and redistribute gains, promote gender justice and ecological sustainability, and penalize ‘public bads’ such as speculative, polluting, and resource-depleting activities,” it states.
Toolkit chapters include “Why Taxes and Taxation?”, “Theology of Taxation and the Zaccheaus Story”, and “Church Resources and What Can the Churches Do?” Also included are Bible studies, a children’s reflection, and liturgical resources.
“Our faith compels us towards a just world,” said Philip Vinod Peacock, World Communion of Reformed Churches executive for witness and justice, “and one way of attaining it is through a system of just taxation that is directed towards the needs of the poor and dispossessed and not towards the wants of a few.”
The Zacchaeus Tax Campaign is a part of the New International Financial and Economic Architecture initiative, a joint effort by the World Council of Churches, Council for World Mission, Lutheran World Federation, World Communion of Reformed Churches, and World Methodist Council. Funding is provided by Otto per Mille.