Bringing VITA to the forefront of tax talks this August
This summer, as elected officials continue talk about “tax reform,” we’re taking it as an opportunity to connect the dots between VITA and its importance to taxpayers. We’re doing this by supporting our members in their outreach to Congress, helping them to build and foster relationships with their legislators.
Congress’ “August recess” period is August 5 – September 6, when lawmakers will be home from Washington. That’s when we would like to encourage our members and VITA partners to have in-district meetings with their elected officials. It’s up to us and all of our local partners to ensure that VITA, and the low- and moderate-income families we serve, have a place at the table during these discussions of tax reform. What’s more, harmful “sequestration” cuts and the Fiscal Year 2014 budgeting process continue to represent very real threats to the federal VITA grant, upon which so many programs depend.
In order to help you get started, we’ve created a template meeting-request letter for you to modify and email to lawmakers’ offices. Please make it your own by tailoring it! The earlier you send in the request letter, the better the chance of securing a meeting with either the member of Congress, or his or her district staff.
These August recess meetings are critical in terms of not only raising the profile of VITA, but making sure that policymakers understand the consequences of sequestration cuts in their districts, on VITA programs and other crucial policies that protect and support low-income families. NCTC is developing materials to help you with your outreach, but we need you to take the first step, and request a meeting! If you’d like help or more information in pursuing local meetings to help bolster VITA, please contact Gail Parson, NCTC’s Manager of Civic Engagement, at (312) 346-6282 x297 or firstname.lastname@example.org.