Document:California Press Release 28 October 1999 Repeal of Tobacco Tax Will Help Children and Working Poor

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400 Capitol Mall, Suite 900
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 449-3941
For immediate release: October 28, 1999
For additional information:
Juan Ros, Executive Director
Phone: (818) 506-0200

Repeal of tobacco tax will help children and working poor, Libertarians say

SACRAMENTO -- If a ballot measure to repeal 1998's Proposition 10 passes next March, children and working families will be the real beneficiaries, the Libertarian Party of California announced today.

"California's children should not be subjected to massive government programs that, like most government programs, are doomed to fail," declared Libertarian state chair Mark Hinkle. "Abolishing this tax will save children from unproven, untested, and unworkable state-run programs -- not to mention the financial savings to working families, who have been hit the hardest by Proposition 10's onerous taxes."

Secretary of State Bill Jones announced today that an initiative to repeal Proposition 10 had qualified for the March 7 ballot. The repeal is led by Ned Roscoe of Cigarettes Cheaper! Stores, a libertarian who announced the launching of the repeal at the Libertarian Party's state convention last February.

"We congratulate Ned Roscoe for leading this effort and we look forward to a challenging but successful campaign to repeal a tax that should never have passed in the first place," said Hinkle.

Proposition 10, which was spearheaded by actor- director Rob Reiner and raised taxes on cigarettes by 50 cents a pack to pay for early childhood development programs, passed last November by a margin of just under 80,000 votes. The Libertarian Party of California opposed the tax from the beginning.

"Last year we said that this tax was unfair because it punished one group of people for having an unpopular habit. We said that passage of this tax would lead to an increase in black market cigarette sales, smuggling, and crime. And we said the tax money would be misspent on a bloated bureaucracy while stranding children in nebulous government programs," said Hinkle. "We were right then, and we are still right today.

"Thanks to Rob Reiner, working parents are now spending more of their income on cigarettes than before. And bureaucrats are salivating over how to misspend the millions in Prop. 10 money they're getting," Hinkle noted.

"Libertarians believe parents -- not the government and not Rob Reiner -- should be raising their own children," Hinkle added. "We urge Californians to roll back this harmful tax and give parents, children, and smokers the freedom they deserve to make decisions for themselves."