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Tax rally planned for Thursday
Tea Party event at courthouse
Tea Party 2009 1 es
Demonstrators wave to passers-by during a Tea Party rally in downtown Cumming in 2009. - photo by File photo
It may be called a party, but there won’t be any celebrating Thursday during the Tax Day Tea Party Rally at the Forsyth County Courthouse.

Brad Wilkins, Tea Party rally organizer, said he expects hundreds of people to attend the event, set to begin at 4:30 p.m. and organized by the Concerned Citizens of Forsyth County, a chapter of Americans for Prosperity.

“Tax Day this year takes on special significance because we are about to see a tsunami of new taxes coming our way,” he said. “It’s not too late to put a stop to this behavior and it starts with an educated public.”

The April 15 rally is the year’s first for the organization. Wilkins said it’s a way to protest government spending without having to travel to larger events in Atlanta or Washington, D.C.

The national Tea Party Patriots group is organizing similar events across the country.

While downtown Cumming sidewalks may fill with protesters, Ricia Maxie said the Democratic Party of Forsyth County is unlikely to join them.

“Democrats here just want to be level headed and look at things from a common sense point of view,” said Maxie, party chairwoman.

The Tea Party rallies, she said, don’t offer much balanced information.

“What they’re trying to do is get out their sound bites so they can win at election time, rather than putting out completely factual information,” she said.

“People are being led down a path where they don’t have all the information.”

But Ernie Housner, director of the Tea Party Patriots of Forsyth County, said his members include frustrated residents spanning all political parties, races and religions.

“I thought that we were going to be a lot of right-wing Republicans,” he said of forming the group a year ago. “Boy, was I wrong.”

Several members of Housner’s group will be attending Thursday’s event, he said. And not just to blame the current White House administration.

“It’s not just since President [Barack] Obama was elected,” he said. “Prior to that I was getting really fed up with how large our government had become.

“I didn’t like the way a lot of decisions were being made and it seemed like a lot of people weren’t being listened to.”

The last Tea Party event in Forsyth drew more than 300 people. Wilkins said many voices will be heard Thursday.

While it’s too late to make an impact on taxes owed this year, he said the momentum could make a difference before April 15, 2011.

Other issues include the new health care law, the approaching expiration of President George W. Bush’s tax cuts and other expected impacts on the nation’s budget.

“Every time the government expands the size of government, or increases services ... they’re increasing the debt,” Wilkins said. “And the way they pay for it all is either more debt or more taxes.

“It’s never too late to begin educating the public on the consequences of those actions.”