Chilly weather didn't stop the Southern Tier TEA Party Patriots from bringing the heat against the Internal Revenue Service on Tuesday in downtown Jamestown.
Suitable for tax-deadline day, TEA Party members wielded anti-IRS signs on the corner of Third and Washington streets around noon.
"We want to abolish the IRS, repeal the 16th Amendment and get a much more fair and simpler tax system than the one we have now," said protester Mel McGinnis. "Also, New York state taxes are utterly outrageous, given the way property owners are treated by our government and the way in which they are forced to fund Medicaid. There is a problem with tax spending and regulation in the state."
Members of the Southern Tier TEA Party gathered on the corner of Washington and Third streets on Tuesday, rallying for tax reform and abolishment of the IRS.
P-J photo by Katie Atkins
The 16th Amendment, adopted in 1913, reestablished the collection of income taxes, which had been declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1895.
Protester Shirley Leyman waved a sign to those driving by that read "Abolish the IRS," while several motorists honked in response.
"For one thing, the IRS abuses their power and it's un-American," she said. "Government in general has grown out of control, and we're trying to reign that control back in. The middle class is getting squeezed out of existence."
Leyman added that the TEA Party believes in limited government.
"We're not against paying taxes, but we need to reduce taxes too. They don't have to be so insane," she said.
According to the IRS website, almost 100 million tax returns had been filed as of Thursday, with another 35 million expected to be filed by Tuesday's deadline.
However, an estimated 12 million taxpayers will have requested extensions by the filing deadline, giving them an extra six months to file.
Income taxes were first collected 1862, but repealed a decade later, then revived in 1894 and declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1895.
The 16th Amendment, adopted in 1913, brought the collection of income taxes back, and in 1953, the Bureau of Internal Revenue's name was changed to the IRS known today.
McGinnis said other issues the TEA Party feels strongly about include repeal of the Affordable Care Act and Gov. Andrew Cuomo's SAFE Act.
"The Affordable Care Act is something we'd like to see removed from our country, and the SAFE Act is an offense to the Second Amendment," McGinnis said. "It limits the rights of law-abiding gun owners. It's antithetical to what our founders gave us with respect to rights and freedoms."