Libertarians endorse new initiative to overturn Prop. 19, the ‘death’ tax on California property owners

Santa Clara County party re-elects two national chairs to local leadership
(Also published in the Almaden Times; February 18, 2022.)

SUNNYVALE, Calif.— The Libertarian Party (LP) of Santa Clara County (SCC) has endorsed the Repeal the Death Tax Act, a new initiative to restore the Proposition 58 protection for California property owners that was abolished in 2020 when a slim majority of voters passed Proposition 19.

The endorsement took place on Jan. 29 at the LPSCC’s annual meeting, during which members reaffirmed their choice of two former chairmen of the national Libertarian Party and the Libertarian National Committee (LNC) for local leadership roles:

LPSCC Vice Chair Mark Hinkle served as national chair from 2010 to 2012. He is a small-business owner and president of Silicon Valley Taxpayers Association.

LPSCC Fundraising Committee Chair Mary Gingell served as national chairman from 1991 to 1993. She retired in 2020 from her role as Director of Development Events and Services at Stanford’s Hoover Institution, a public policy think tank.

Hinkle explained that the new ballot initiative the party has endorsed would restore parents’ ability to leave property to their children without triggering reassessments and prohibitive upsurges in property taxes. “California’s nickname is ‘the golden state,’ but now it seems that’s only true for the politicians in Sacramento,” Hinkle said. “They figure that by chiseling away at our cherished Prop. 13, they can mine homes, farms, and ranches for even more treasure to fund their rampant, Big Government expenditures. Instead, it should be families who get to shout ‘eureka’ this November, if enough voters will join Libertarians in supporting our neighbors’ freedom to keep their parents’ and grandparents’ property in the family.”

Joe Dehn, re-elected as LPSCC chair, is the Libertarian candidate for U.S. Congress, District 17. Dehn is campaigning on a platform of drastically cutting the size of the federal government and taxes; ending U.S. military involvement in other countries’ disputes; and ending domestic “wars,” such as the war on drugs, the war on guns, and the war on immigrants.

LPSCC central committee members also re-elected Treasurer Alan Kaiser and Activities Committee Chair Bob Goodwyn. They elected Michael Melo as secretary; Brian Holtz, an elected director of Purissima Hills (Los Altos Hills) Water District, as chair of the campaigns committee; Cody Drummond as membership chair; Robert Gomez as newsletter chair; and Elizabeth C. Brierly as publicity chair.

The party’s executive committee had previously adopted a position opposing San Jose City’s so-called gun-harm-reduction fee and liability insurance mandate, to be imposed on legal gun owners. Following the city council’s Jan. 25 majority vote in favor of enacting the ordinance, several organizations are considering legal action against the city on either tax law or second amendment grounds, or both. The council is scheduled to take a final vote on the matter on Tuesday.