OLYMPIA, Wash. – Several tax day Tea Parties, protesting higher taxes and big government, are being held across Washington state Thursday.
The largest brought people to the steps of the state Capitol in Olympia. The Washington State Patrol estimates some 3,000 showed up, which is about 1,000 less than a year ago.
The TEA in Tea Party stands for Taxed Enough Already, which is how the people who showed up feel.
This week, the Washington state Legislature passed a budget calling for about $800 million in new taxes to help offset a $2.8 billion deficit. Later this year, beer, soda, candy, cigarettes and other items will face new or increased taxes.
Protesters say those who voted for the new taxes and are up for re-election in November need to be voted out of office. Speakers also criticized Pres. Barack Obama and the recent health care reform law.
If there were any counter-protesters at the Olympia Tea Party, they were hard to find.
Extra state troopers were brought in to patrol around the Capitol, but WSP says it expects the demonstration to be peaceful.
Hundreds of people also showed up to a rally at the Snohomish County Courthouse in Everett. A couple of counter-protesters could be seen nearby. One held a sign saying "I love taxes."
Another large rally is set to begin at 5:30 p.m. at Seattle's Westlake Center.
Rallies were also held in Bellevue, Mount Vernon, Bellingham, Okanogan, Moses Lake, Richland, Prosser and Walla Walla.