Update: City of Richmond Audit of RTP

Want an update on the RTP/City of Richmond exchange? Check Richmond Tea Party volunteer Colleen Owens’ guest post at Righsidenews.com  Along with background information of the events, you can read  the City of Richmond audit notification letter sent to RTP.

An excerpt of Ms Owens’ closing remarks is provided:

The Richmond Tea Party stands for constitutional adherence, and clearly this has been unequal treatment under the law. We stand for fiscal restraint, and this is a case where a mayor uses taxpayer money for his personal agenda. We stand for virtue and accountability in government and that is why we have taken a stand. We will be submitting a Virginia Freedom of Information Act request for all city correspondence pertaining to our Tea Party and its decision to audit us. We will not be intimidated and we will not back down. A Richmond attorney and fellow Tea Partier is currently reviewing our situation.  Also the ACLU has also contacted us inquiring about this matter.

By | 2011-11-28T20:54:48+00:00 November 28th, 2011|Government|21 Comments

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  • Marcus Keck

    Richmond Tea Party,
    I hope y’all turn in a perfect tax audit that shows y’all have done everything by the book. That will send the best message of who really are the law abiding citizens and hopefully get that mayor of yours fired. This just shows how much those liberals really care about the Constitution and America. Y’all have done nothing wrong and will win. Do that audit right to show them who’s boss. Never stoop to their level, we’re better than that. Give ’em hell Richmond!

  • Tammy Whiteside

    As a fellow Tea Party member residing in PA, I was outraged when I heard about this blatant discrimination and harassment.

    I have filed a complaint on behalf of the Richmond Tea Party with the ACLJ (Jay Sekulow’s organization).

    Lord willing, he will shine more light on this than we can.

    We always knew that there was a certain level of corruption in politics but I never in my wildest dreams imagined that it would be this deep and this dirty.

    God Bless you folks in Richmond. We’re pulling for you in Pittsburgh!

  • Frederick Jorden

    This highlights the heavy handed treatment of small business by the city of Richmond. For many years I have advised small businesses to avoid the City like the plague.

  • David Rentschler

    I’m a tea party member in Southwest Ohio. Read the story and immediately sent $200 to the RTP. Be outraged, but understand that this fight for fiscal responsibility, individual liberty and public accountability is only just beginning. Stay strong, stay strong !!

  • Jeannie Bloomingdale

    Here’s another watchful Tea Party eye from Pennsylvania! I sent Ms. Carr an email, telling her that Tea Partiers from all over the country, including me, will be watching to see that she handles this matter fairly and lawfully.

    Keep up the good work, Richmond. And Go Steelers!

  • Mike

    I am a proud member of the Tea Party in Kentucky. Stay Strong and on task.

    One suggestion….call on all Tea Partiers nationwide to impose a nationwide boycott on Richmond VA (travel, expenditures, etc) until your Mayor resigns or at minimum, makes a public apology and restitution to the Richmond Tea Party over this huge disparity in treatment.

    The Mayor will not like that kind of national media attention at all. Obviously in the short run a boycott will not be great for your local economy, but in the long run, we all know money talks and political popularity witll be a concern. If he is shown to be an embarassment the city of Richmond, it may go a long way for you.

    God Bless

  • Kimberly Shaw

    The Mayor and employees of the City of Richmond are actual employees of the citizens of Richmond. Although they do post their financial statements for the City online, it is only paper with numbers, not actual proof of where the money went and who spent it. Are there no Financial Executives in the Richmond Tea Party that could start a petition (or something) to have the City audited by a private party? Since the City has collected funds from the local Tea Party for such events, the local Tea Party should be able to go through the City’s books, physical receipts, signatures, etc., to make sure they have collected the same fees from any parties who hold any type of function on that property. And, to verify that NO taxpayer dollars have been spent to aid any functions on that same property. There is probable cause, suspicion that the occupiers have paid nothing and the City has provided sanitation services, etc.

  • Anatole Lesenko

    I live under USSR many years. Now U.S. Citizen. Don’t stop fight against these Liberal Elitists.
    They are same as corrupt Communist leadership in my old town of Mogilev!
    Su them, make them pay you back not for money but for principle!

  • All this takes so much energy away from the important things. As sole proprietors, we’re finding that our county is aggressively trying to raise our small business’ property value so they can take more in taxes. We’re having to appeal our 30% increase now which takes valuable energy away from our new business. If our business wasn’t seen as a ministry outreach to our guests, we’d close our doors and sell it off.

  • Dee from Richmond, Virginia

    The City is saying RTP hasn’t filed taxes at all in 2010 and stopped filing in 2011 in February. Those are instant triggers for an audit. I believe if they did file, then this could’ve been handled in a day as a misunderstanding by producing the documents. We cannot fail to file taxes- none of us.

    Secondly on the refund, the RTP paid for things not provided the Occupiers according to them. Those things must be paid as they were optional. They include off duty police officers (when we use them here, we have to pay overtime rates) and first aid. Other than that, I think they are entitled to a refund. Event fee and insurance- I’m not sure about those. Portapotties and trash need to be refunded for sure. The occupiers did not pay for a permit because they were never approved. They would’ve paid if they were approved. That’s the decision made by the City. Of course, if they stayed there after that, it was on the good graces of the City of Richmond officials, which were pretty good until the RTP complained. Then suddenly they were evicted. So, there’s all kinds of confusion over this whole deal. I did see the Occupiers totally show support to Colleen when she asked for a refund.

    If I were an RTP member, I’d be asking why you are a permitted business? That does make you qualify for the event fee by ordinance. Occupy is not a business. I still cannot figure out what advantage it is to you to have become a business, thus putting you into a lot of tax liabilities, when you can just be a grassroots people’s movement. Maybe that’s why the City charged you- that’s a huge difference to me from a tax standpoint. Also, if you are a permitted business and if the City is right in that you failed to file taxes for a very long time, you are, like me if I did that, put on the top of the list for audit. Feds do it. City does it.

    I have not seen one piece of documentation from you saying that is wrong.I sure would’ve gone to the press with papers in hand if I was fighting the City for unfair treatment auditing to you. Anyone being audited would always show they did file taxes first. Correct? My bet is those documents don’t exist, you did not file taxes, and so you, like all citizens would be, are being audited. Could be wrong here,Colleen, but that’s what it looks like to me.

    Instead of leaning on such harse criticism of ORVA, another grassroots movement, like the RTP, why don’t you just fight this fight as you want a refund and support any grassroots movement, even if it doesn’t agree with you? They supported you at City Council. List for me the times you supported them. Never, I know.

    • Aha

      In 2010 when we desired to sell T-shirts at our Tax Day Rally, the City of Richmond instructed us to secure a special business license. When we applied for our license, they gave us a document titled “Steps to acquiring a Sidewalk Vendor License.” Page four of that document refers to Sec. 18-523. Exceptions. It states: “This article shall not apply to the following:” The first bullet pointed item says “Special events or festivals for which a permit has been issued by the Chief of Police or the Director of Parks & Recreation and community facilities.” (Code 1993. 6-197) We had a special events permit; the city did not send us ALM tax coupons. Based on that information, we did not file for taxes involving activities we did not engage in.

      In 2011, Richmond sent us ALM coupon books. When we explained we did not engage in activities that generate those taxes, Richmond said we need to file anyway, so we send in the form each month filled with zeroes. We have copies.

      ~Statement provided by RTP’s Treasurer

  • Momo

    The bureaucracy is infected with corrupt, lying, hypocritical, anti-constitutional leftists and liberal absolutists who are worse than criminals.

  • John Fitty

    Complaining with persistence is the key!

    Email the mayor:

    dwight.jones@richmondgov.com, cynthia.newbille@richmondgov.com, cynthia.carr@richmondgov.com, chris.hilbert@richmondgov.com

    Go to the appropriate websites and use the contact forms to send the following an email:

    Governor McDonnell, Attorney General Cuccinelli II, Senator Warner, Senator Webb, all Virginia Representatives

  • Dee Pisciella

    The Occupy Richmond movement just issued a press release supporting your fight. Are you now going to support them? Have you worked out a deal with the protestors? Can you both get ACLU support together?

  • Paul

    I know there are many things that both OWS and the Tea Party will never agree on. However, at a basic level, OWS shares some of the same demands and disgust of govt and corproations that the Tea Party does. Both are against the bailouts. Both are demanding accountability and responsibility from our govt and corporations. Both want this insipid “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours”-relationship between govt and corporations to end. I have been trying to get OWS and TEA to stand together against the ruling class, instead of letting them divide the people. I have been a part of both groups, I’ve met many good people in each who don’t like the current state of things. I hope this is the beginning of a trend towards at least some mutual support between OWS and TEA.

  • Pingback: CNN Soft Peddles ‘Occupy’ Lawbreaking, Asks if Police Have ‘Sympathy’ With Occupiers | Right Wing News()

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  • Dee Pisciella

    You are a business. Occupiers are not. You sold things at Kanawha Plaza. Occupiers did not. You had a permit. Occupiers did not and were there at the good graces of the City. This resulted in their arrest for trespassing. As a business, you must file city tax paperwork. Occupiers are not a business and don’t need to file city tax paperwork.

    A fairer comparison for equal treatment would be the business that runs concerts at Kanawha Plaza every spring/summer. Did they have to file the same paperwork and pay the same fees? Did they sell stuff like food, tee shirts, etc. If they did, then you were treated equally to any business who holds events at Kanawha Plaza, regardless of what you call them. If not, then that’s your argument. That would stand stronger for unfair treatment then comparing yourselves to a non business who did not have a permit and who was NOT conducting business.

    If you want to argue they had portapotties…that’s fine. That’s what? About $50 off of your bill? But, did businesses who held multi day events have portapotties? Did they pay for them?

    Now someone among your ranks is probably going to call me a name. That’s usually next. Fair is fair, RTP. If businesses who have an official special use permit to have events in Kanawha Park paid what you paid, you lose if you really, really deep down in your heart, believe in fair treatment.

    I’m old. An old broom knows all the dirty corners, so I am not coming from an ethusiastic young person who believes they can create utopia. I know the deal. The Occupiers perhaps don’t get it yet.

    Thanks for listening to someone who wants you to lean more toward the truth, than slanted reporting of ignoring some of the facts of this case. Take care. Enjoy the holidays!


  • Dee Pisciella

    Aha, thanks for the information. Maybe the problem is you should have received the coupons in 2010 and in 2011, you submitted all zeros but sold things and made money? I don’t know but wish you luck in the audit process. By the end of this process City expectations will be in writing. Maybe it’s all okay and maybe it’s not. But you will have audit findings in writing now. That’s a good thing if you are a business, because the expectations are clear and undisputed then. Good luck.

  • HYC
    • Aha


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