WEST OCEAN CITY- With the deadline for filing state and federal taxes expiring late last night, groups all over the country have organized rallies protesting the growing tax burden for citizens and a general dissatisfaction with their governments, including right here in Worcester County where a “Taxed Enough Already,” or TEA, Party is slated for tomorrow afternoon at a West Ocean City shopping center.
Sponsored by the Worcester County chapter of the non-partisan citizens activist group “Americans for Properity,” the local TEA party is set to begin tomorrow at noon at Trader Lee’s Village at the intersection of Routes 50 and 611 in West Ocean City. The patriotic rally is expected to draw hundreds of participants in peaceful protest at the busy intersection, according to Worcester County AFP chapter founder and chairman Steve Lind.
“The TEA party is shaping up nicely and it’s sure to be a great event,” he said. “My guess would be between 200 and 300 participants. We average 135 at our monthly meetings at the Ocean Pines Community Center, so we should have way more than that for this event.”
Lind founded the Worcester County AFP chapter less than a year ago and already its numbers have grown rapidly. The group’s first meeting last October drew 101 members and the second meeting drew over 150 including many new recruits. Even members of a local bridge club sharing the same meeting space with the county’s AFP chapter signed on after hearing the group’s message of free markets, lower taxes and limited government.
“We have an extensive network, thanks to the Internet, and the response has been fabulous,” said Lind. “The owner of the TEA party location is a member of our AFP chapter, and he and the owner of Trader Lee’s couldn’t be any more cooperative.”
Tomorrow’s TEA party at Trader Lee’s Village in West Ocean City is just one of many similar gatherings around the state in the days leading up to and immediately following April 15, the traditional deadline for filing state and federal taxes. On tax deadline day itself on Thursday, similar rallies were held all across Maryland in places like Bel Air, Hagerstown, Westminster, Rockville, Kent Island, Salisbury and Towson.
The rally in Worcester County tomorrow is just one of many set for locations around the state. For example, another AFP “tea party” will be held on the old Choptank River fishing pier just off Route 50 in Cambridge and at the Big Elk Mall in Cecil County. Lind said the planned tea party in West Ocean City is expected to be one of the largest.
“We will be attracting a lot of attention at a major, busy intersection,” he said.