Tax Day Activism
Although many Americans have taxes withdrawn from every paycheck, many people do not often think about the subject of taxes until Tax Day, which is on April 17 this year. Tax Day is a great opportunity to get people thinking about the moral implications of how their tax dollars are spent. Here are some ideas for Tax Day actions:
Present on the Peace Tax Fund
Organize an event about the PTF to a local peace group, church, or other community group. Good resources for a presentation would be the video, Compelled by Conscience, the booklet Congress Shall Make No Law, and other resources available from our office. These resources can be found here.
Write to Elected Officials
Tax Day is an ideal time to write letters to your members of Congress. Present the conflict thousands of taxpayers face between following their conscience and obeying the law regarding taxes. Personalize the letter when possible. Legislators are more likely to respond to issues that tangibly affect their constituents. To write to your member of congress, click here.
Write a Letter to the Editor
Writing a letter to the editor of your local paper is an effective way of drawing attention to the Peace Tax Fund. Again, personalize when possible. Editors welcome letters with a human-interest element, which can generate lively discussion. To write a letter to the editor click here.
Personal Lobby Visits
A visit to the local or DC office of your legislator is an effective way to be heard about the rights of conscience for taxpayers. The visit puts a face to an abstract issue, and helps the Congressperson see that military taxation affects real people, especially their constituents. To view our lobbying resources click here. To take part in our annual Lobby Day on May 16, contact Chris Fretz by calling (888)-732-2382 or by e-mail: chris-at-peacetaxfund.org
Hold a Public Action
A memorable way to publicize the Peace Tax Fund is to hold a demonstration or leaflet at the IRS building or your local post office. This can be done on Tax Day, or leading up to it. Issuing press releases to local and national media can greatly increase coverage of your action since many media sources do stories on the IRS and Tax Day. (See more info on media and press releases, below.)
You may want to research where you may demonstrate, what permits are required, and other logistical details to avoid confrontation with local authorities.
An interactive way to stimulate interest in military spending is to do a penny poll. Poll people on their spending priorities by giving them 10 pennies and let them decide how to distribute the pennies among government programs, then compare it to the federal government’s current allocation. Getting people thinking can help them realize that military taxation affects them and their community, not just conscientious objectors. For information on military spending, click here.
TV and radio are good sources for publicity. Local access cable channels often need to fill airtime, and may be willing to air the Peace Tax Fund video or air an interview with local conscientious objectors. Local news shows and radio talk shows are potential outlets for stories on opposition to military taxation.
Keep in Touch
We’d love to hear what Tax Day actions you take this year. Please contact us for more information on any of these ideas. Let us know any other techniques you used that were successful. New ideas are always welcome!