Vermont Tax Freedom Day this year is April 17 (the day you stop paying taxes to the government and start working for yourself). Tax Day follows on Monday, April 18. In response, we are planning a combined phone, Twitter and Facebook campaign to show our legislators and the governor that we are Taxed Enough Already!
We ask you to do one or more of the strategies outlined here. It won’t take much time, but we need maximum participation to have a big impact. The Twitter and Facebook campaign will start on Monday, April 18 and the Phone Campaign will start on Tuesday when the legislators are in session. Please share with your friends and family and have them participate too. The bigger the response the better. Here’s the plan
The Phone part of the campaign is very simple. Call the Sergeant at Arms: 1-802-828-2228. You will be asked for your name, address and a brief message for your legislators (Representative and Senator).
An example would be:
“I like to see a balanced state budget. And I oppose any new or increased state taxes or fees. Thank you.”
Short, simple, polite. The folks taking your message are just the messengers. And one call covers all your reps.
This is important because when you call the Sergeant at Arms and ask your message to be delivered, the pages deliver messages to your representatives while they are in session. When our legislators see pages delivering messages frequently, they will want to know what is going on. This really gives a presence to your messages. You can call every day of the week, especially since the Senate is due to pass a budget that will increase taxes this week.
If you’re not sure who your Representative and Senator(s) are, just click on this link and enter your town: http://legislature.vermont.gov/people/
A Twitter ‘tweet’ allows up to 140 characters. We will use two hashtags: #VTTaxPain and #VTPOLI together with our Twitter handle @GreenMtnPatriot in the same tweet; that uses 36 characters, including spaces (for maximum effect, all three should be used in a tweet). That leaves you with about 100 characters for telling how Vermont’s tax and spend policies are affecting you and might include other friends who would retweet your tweet.
Some example tweets:
- #VTTaxPain #VTPOLI Vermont’s Tax and Spend gotta end! @GreenMtnPatriot
- We spend more on TAXES than on food, clothing, housing combined. Hello, Montpelier? #VTTaxPain #VTPOLI
- How about reining in Vermont’s spending rather than raising our taxes? #VTTaxPain #VTPOLI @GreenMtnPatriot
Sidenote: Because hashtags aren’t case-sensitive, entering the hashtag into a tweet using upper-case letters is more effective visually for catching attention.
Thunderclap and Rolling Thunder…
Tweets are more effective when they’re concentrated in time—like a thunderclap.
If you can, try to send out your tweets shortly before and after noon beginning Monday, April 18.
Do the same through the remainder of the week. Let Montpelier know how you feel!
You should still use the hashtags #VTTaxPain and #VTPOLI but you are not limited to 140 characters. You could attach a link to a tax song or video, include your displeasure at the VT Tax and Spend Policies, etc. Personal stories are always helpful. You could say how excessive taxation is hurting you, etc. Then, encourage your fellow Vermonters to join in and share your post on FaceBook.
Help with Twitter and Facebook
If you are not currently on either Twitter or Facebook, here are some helpful tutorials that will get you going.
Tutorial 1 – How to sign up for Twitter: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJSoEbNxYKE
The same group—SocialMagnetsDotNet—follows the setup video with three more tutorials:
2 – How to tweet, reply and follow
3 – How to engage
4 – Discovering people to follow
Those videos should take care of the basics. Then the issue is how to work with hashtags. Again, the info is on the web. First, a one-page description: http://techforluddites.com/the-twitter-hashtag-what-is-it-and-how-do-you-use-it/
Next, a bubbly but informative video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EE8lirxHX9o
We urge you to participate and pass this information on to your friends and family.