Valdosta tea party protest sees large turnout - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Valdosta tea party protest sees large turnout

By Robin Jedlicka - bio | email

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - While Valdosta has been less impacted by the recession than most places, residents there say paying high taxes is a financial woe they share with the rest of us.   

Wednesday's tax day tea party protest in Valdosta was bigger than anyone anticipated.  "We were hoping to get, maybe, a couple hundred people.," said tea party organizer Nolen Cox.  "I think we've got more than that right now.  We're just fifteen minutes into it!  I think it's going to get a lot bigger."

Sure enough, by 12:30, more than four hundred people had arrived at Mathis Auditorium to protest, what they call, unfair taxation.

Diane Howard, who was decked in a tea-bag adorned bonnet, said, "This is my son's and granddaughter's money they're spending, as well as my own!"

While Valdosta has taken a reasonably small hit from the recession, citizens say higher taxes are hitting them hard. "It's kind of like the original tea party," said Cox.  "We feel like we've got taxation without representation."

Several protestors felt the government was unconcerned with their message. "Politics is affected by too much control outside.  High integrity is lacking," said Bill Thomas, who held a sign reading "Born free...Taxed to death." 

While Valdosta's low unemployment rate is something to celebrate, protestors point out that tougher times could still be ahead.

"I think the economy's a little more stable here than it is in most parts of the country--but still, this thing is not over yet," said Cox.  "I think it's going to get tougher before it gets better."

Another tea party protest is already being planned for the Fourth of July in Valdosta.

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