Richmond Tea Party: Audit retaliation for complaints about preferential treatment of ‘Occupy’
Leave it to a Tea party group to imagine that they are singled out for persecution by city hall. Where have I heard that before?
The group said the audit is punishment for its complaint that the city had charged it $8,500 for permits and other costs for rallies, while Occupy Richmond activists have not been assessed any costs related to their former occupation of a city-owned plaza.
The tea party sought a refund, unsuccessfully, from the city.
“This audit is an obvious attempt to intimidate and harass us for standing up against the unfair treatment and discrimination against our Tea Party,” Owens wrote in the email.
A spokeswoman for Mayor Dwight C. Jones said his office wasn’t aware of the audit and that the Richmond Tea Party is among 700 businesses that were not compliant with admissions, meals or lodging excise taxes, known collectively as ALM.
“The Richmond Tea Party did not file any of the required ALM monthly returns during 2010 and had only filed January and February 2011 when this account was selected for audit review,” Tammy D. Hawley wrote in an email to The Associated Press.
Since then, it has filed returns for 2011 but not 2010, Hawley said.
Owens said the tea party treasurer had been told by a city official he would comply with the 2010 filings. The official said not to bother because the group would have no reports of tax activity sought by the city, she said.