Organizers of Tuesday’s tax revolt in Bel Air were thrilled with the turnout and are hoping to build momentum in anticipation of the Harford County Council’s vote on the budget and constant yield tax rate next Tuesday.
While the Harford Property Tax Revolt group claims there were “approximately 200 people, and they were all as mad as hell” at the event, Bel Air police estimated a more conservative 60 to 80 people were in attendance, and said there were certainly fewer than 100 protestors.
The protest, held on private property in the parking lot of a former gas station across from the county council chambers in Bel Air, looked well attended. Protesters carried signs while speakers stood on an empty hay wagon at the back of the lot, and the PA system carried their words across to the edge of the council building.
In the days leading up to the tax rally, the Route 40 Republican Club sent out a robo-call to inform and build support for the protest.
Click below to hear the audio of the message:[audio:http://www.daggerpress.com/wp-content/uploads/wright5-17-09_real_estate_tax_protest_rally.mp3]
The Harford Property Tax Revolt group was peeved about a late email distributed by Bel Air Youth Football, a Bel Air Parks & Recreation-sponsored program, which asked members to attend the council meeting in a show of support for the budget and maintaining Parks and Rec funding.
The tax revolt group found it inappropriate to put the football program in the middle of an expression of free speech by Harford county individuals.
Here is the original email distributed by BelAirFootball.org:
On Tuesday night, May 19th, the County Council will have the final vote on the Executive Budget presented by Mr. Craig and his administration.
It is anticipated that a grassroots organization calling themselves the “Harford Property Tax Revolt” may be attempting to block or reduce this key legislation. I encourage each of you to attend the Council meeting to show your support for the Parks and Rec Department. Especially in times of economic uncertainty, the programs funded by P&R may be in severe jeopardy if cuts are made.
We need to show strength as a rec council thereby demonstrating our support to complete ongoing projects and to accommodate the increasing number of participants we serve. Please join us at 7PM at the Council Chambers. Wear your Bel Air Rec apparel proudly!!
Our rally went off today without a hitch. There were at least a couple hundred angry citizens in attendance.
I got the feeling that all of these people are angry with not only the local government, but the state and Federal government as well. If this movement catches any traction, I pity Annapolis and Washington.
There were some solid speeches by several people, and lots of cars on Rt. demonstrated their support by honking.
The County Council is voting on this budget a week from Today, on May 26, at 7:00 in the Council building.
That means we only have 7 days to make the Council aware of how we feel. Call early, call often, and email when you have lost your voice. Click this link to see the Council’s contact information.
Tell your friends, coworkers, and anybody else that will listen: If you don’t tell the Council how you feel, your taxes will increase next year.
Email it to everybody in your contacts list! Make them aware. If you would like an example of an email to send, let me know, at HarfordTaxRevolt@gmail.com.