Updated: Saturday, 28 Feb 2009, 2:33 PM EST
Published : Friday, 27 Feb 2009, 6:05 PM EST
BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Western New Yorkers furious about tax increases are joining a nationwide protest known as the Tea Party.
It started with the ranting of Rick Santelli, a business news analyst on CNBC, who called for a taxpayer's rebellion.
Santelli said, "We're thinking of having a "Chicago Tea Party." I'm going to start organizing in July. You capitalists that want to show up at Lake Michigan, I'm going to start organizing."
Now, in dozens of cities, including Buffalo, angry taxpayers are staging tea party protests against excessive government spending and taxes, and waste.
Taxpayer activist Jill Sinclair said, "We'd love to unite things like Wake Up America, Grassfire.org, and Free New York and all those splinter groups that are out there to have one collective voice."
"This is what our lawsuit's all about" added Taxpayer activist Roy Scherrer.
One group called Free New York has sued the state of New York to put an end to what it calls "corporate welfare," or government cash grants to private corporations.
James Ostrowski of Free New York said, "A bunch of us have sued New York State to basically get two billion dollars back for the taxpayer. We're waiting for a decision."
The tea party movement has recruited the owner of Club W in Buffalo.
"Sidewalk cafe license, it's $397.80 per year" said Club W owner Chris Wahl.
Wahl has to pay the city so his patrons can stand on his patio, another tax so people can dance at his bar, an arcade tax so they can put quarters in a pool table, and restaurant tax for the use of ice and fruit he puts in drinks.
Wahl said, "Basically, our tax money is paying a committee to sit in City Hall and think well what commonly happens in a bar? Dancing, okay. Let's make a license that they have to buy so the city can get that businesses money. It's out of control."
About 40 protests were staged across the country, many targeting the stimulus plan with the aim of getting more Conservatives elected to Congress.