I'm trying to get something going locally, Tea Party-wise (or otherwise!) Here's a note I sent to another county resident; will post replies as I get 'em:

Hi,

I got your e-mail from John Lawless of the Roanoke Tea Party (I'm a member). I had asked him whether the Tea Party had a "Floyd Chapter" because I'm interested in that - and if one doesn't exist, in possibly trying to get one organized.

I'm betting there are plenty of people in the county who have had their fill of excessive taxation and a government that increasingly respects no limits to its authority over us.

As I mentioned in an earlier e-mail to John (I think I cc'd you on it) we Floydians have a specific local issue - in my opinion - on the issue of real estate taxes, both in principle and in practice.

As a resident, you no doubt recently saw the county's assessed value of your home/land increase considerably, even though the actual market value of homes has dropped during the past 2-3 years. While the country lowered the tax rate to (temporarily) offset the uptick in current assessments, I see this as a con - a way to distract/mollify people "for now" - until next year (or the year after that) when they will jack up the rate, which will be based on the now-larger assessments. Our property tax bills are therefore likely to increase significantly - possibly, massively - over the next few years.

That's a huge threat to people who are already burdened by taxes at all levels; it is also an example of (my opinion) the fundamental evil we are dealing with - and which we need to fight: The use of government power to force "Smith" to provide a material benefit to "Jones."

In the case of these real estate taxes - which are justified chiefly on the basis of paying for public schools - people who decided not to have kids for financial or other reasons (or who home school) are forced at gunpoint to help pay for the education of other people's kids.

I see this is no different than any other form of welfare or entitlement - and I think it needs to be opposed on principle as much as in practice.

Anyhow, give me a holler if you're interested in maybe trying to get something going here in Floyd.