As stragglers rushed to file their tax returns Monday, a group of people gathered in downtown Cumming to say “enough.”
Organized by the Forsyth County Tea Party the annual rally is held every April 15, or as group secretary Sheri Gilligan described it, the day that “you have to write that annual check to deal old Uncle Sam.”
More than two dozen people — including the organization’s founder, Steve Voshall, who also served as emcee — attended the three-hour event outside the Forsyth County Courthouse.
“We’ve got to do a better job of spreading the word,” Voshall told the crowd.
“The problem is with conservatives is we all work, we’re busy with our lives ... and at the end of the day, we come home and we’re worn out and the last thing we want to do is get active in politics. But if we don’t, we’re going to get stuck with exactly what’s happening.”
Guest speakers included District 10 U.S. Rep. Paul Brown, author and talk show host Jody Hice, District 26 state Rep. Geoff Duncan of Forsyth County and Jennifer Deaton, who spoke on behalf of the Fair Tax initiative.
Before addressing the gathering, Deaton said the proposed consumption-based tax “can take care of so many issues.”
“That’s the message I try to get across to people,” she said. “ … Something Fair Tax does is actually gets rid of the payroll tax, which hits the poor very hard. That’s the actual tax that they have to pay immediately, and every dollar they make they have to pay. With the fair tax, they don’t.”
Cherie Kosmetatos, who’s a member of the local party, said she attended “to support the change that needs to happen.”
She’s also advocating “for my children and my grandchildren, cause they’re coming up into a world that will not be what I grew up in.”
“The government is going in the wrong direction,” she said.
As speakers addressed the crowd, occasional passers-by would honk and wave to show their support.
Gilligan said “a good number of people are honking. It comes in bits and spurts.”
She said turnout would have been higher, but “it’s a work day, people are busy.”
While she doesn’t expect one rally to make a difference, Gilligan said it’s just one more way to push for a reduction in taxing and spending at the federal level.
“To have our leaders return to constitutionally limited government and that would naturally lend to spending less and taxing less and providing people their freedom,” she said.