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#3163: Willa Cather to Willard Crowell, February 14, 1940

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My dear Mr. Crowell1:

I always have to get my income tax data ready in February, because the young man3 at my publisher's office who kindly makes out my tax declaration for me always has to leave for the San Francisco4 office early in March.

I am fairly certain that there has been no income from my Western farms this year. If there has been any small income it would certainly belong not to me, but to you, for the trouble and pains you have taken.

You must have paid out something in taxes, travelling expenses, etc., and I wish you could send me a statement of all monies paid out or monies that have been used for the care and upkeep of the various farms. From January 1st 1939 to January 1st 1940. All these items can be charged off against my professional income, and the more I pay out in Nebraska5, the better it is for me in so far as income taxes are concerned. Last year my New York State6 income tax was nearly twice the amount of my Federal income tax, and this year our philanthropic Governor7 threatens to increase our State tax very materially. Last year's State tax can be charged off in our Federal tax as "Other taxes paid", but unfortunately the Federal tax can not be charged off against the State tax. The State tax is our most serious real problem here.

In reporting taxes paid out for me, you need not report to me the $219.77 paid for back taxes on the Kansas8 land (I mean the land in Smith County9), as I have the County Treasurer's receipt for that amount.

I read the Red Cloud10 papers much more anxiously than I do the New York2 papers, not so much on my own account as because of my anxiety for my old friends there. Every inch of snow that falls in Webster County11 makes me feel more hopeful. Surely all this melting snow must help to moisten that ground that has suffered from drought for so long.

Very cordially yours, Willa Cather