2016 Local Candidate Pledges

See also: State Candidate Pledges | Federal Candidate Pledges

Dozens of Libertarian candidates for local office pledge to boldly reduce the size, scope, authority, and taxation of Big Government.

The pledges they’ve made are listed below.

Please click the “More” option for each, to see the list of 2016 Libertarian candidates who have made the pledge, as well as the benefits and the reasoning behind each measure.

Cut Local Property Tax 25%

“If elected, I will propose and work to immediately cut the property tax by 25 percent and cut government spending accordingly.”

Cecil Ince, Greene County Commissioner District 2, Missouri
Michael Roche, Ocean Township Town Council, New Jersey
Benjamin Backus, Gering City Council, Ward 3, Nebraska
David Reichert, McClennan County Commissioner Precinct 3, Texas
Doug Harris, Saline County Justice of the Peach District 1, Arkansas
Edmund-Tom Maciejewski, Berkeley Heights Town Council, New Jersey
Dustin Reamer, Genesee County Commissioner District 6, Michigan
Jeff Coleman, St. Louis County Council, Missouri
Jack Betz, Tarrant County Constable Precinct 5, Texas
Zach Boyle, Alpena County Commissioner 2nd District, Michigan

Why we should cut the property tax by 25 percent

  • Cutting the property tax will give back hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on average, to each family — every year.
  • It will force politicians to eliminate government waste and overspending, and live on trimmed-down budgets, just as families and business must do.
  • Most local budgets double every ten years. Are taxpayers getting double the services they did ten years ago?
  • Cutting the property tax will roll the budget back to a year when residents had all the same services the government provides today — at a much lower price.
  • Landlords pass on property taxes to tenants, through higher rent. Lower property taxes mean lower rent and more affordable housing for everyone.
  • Trimmed-down local government budgets will force politicians to properly maintain schools and other municipal buildings so they don’t need to be replaced before their time, saving taxpayers money.
  • Government overspending attracts politicians who seek to profit on the backs of taxpayers. Lean government budgets will attract ethical public servants who want to do the right thing and save taxpayers money.

 

More

Cut Local Property Taxes 50%

“If elected, I will propose and work to immediately cut the property tax by 50 percent and cut government spending accordingly.”

Cecil Ince, Greene County Commissioner District 2, Missouri
Dustin Reamer, Genesee County Commissioner District 6, Michigan
Jack Betz, Tarrant County Constable Precinct 5, Texas
Harland Harrison, Sequoia Healthcare District Board, California
J. Tyler Lindsey, Henderson County Commissioner Precinct 1, Texas

Why we should cut the property tax by 50 percent

  • Cutting the property tax will give back hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on average, to each family — every year.
  • It will force politicians to eliminate government waste and overspending, and live on trimmed-down budgets, just as families and business must do.
  • Most local budgets double every ten years. Are taxpayers getting double the services they did ten years ago?
  • Cutting the property tax will roll the budget back to a year when residents had all the same services the government provides today — at a much lower price.
  • Landlords pass on property taxes to tenants, through higher rent. Lower property taxes mean lower rent and more affordable housing for everyone.
  • Trimmed-down local government budgets will force politicians to properly maintain schools and other municipal buildings so they don’t need to be replaced before their time, saving taxpayers money.
  • Government overspending attracts politicians who seek to profit on the backs of taxpayers. Lean government budgets will attract ethical public servants who want to do the right thing and save taxpayers money.
More

Refuse to enforce Drug Prohibition

“If elected, I will direct police not to arrest or jail nonviolent drug offenders, and I will deny use of jails and other resources to the DEA and any other federal anti-drug agencies.”

Cecil Ince, Greene County Commissioner District 2, Missouri
Dustin Reamer, Genesee County Commissioner District 6, Michigan
Jack Betz, Tarrant County Constable Precinct 5, Texas
J. Tyler Lindsey, Henderson County Commissioner Precinct 1, Texas
Michael Roche, Ocean Township Town Council, New Jersey
David Reichert, McClennan County Commissioner Precinct 3, Texas
Doug Harris, Saline County Justice of the Peach District 1, Arkansas
Jeff Coleman, St. Louis County Council, Missouri
Carl Wikstrom, Saline County Justice of the Peace, District 8, Arkansas
Susan Gaztanaga, President of the Baltimore City Council, Maryland
John Roberts, East Bay Regional Park District Ward 2, California
Michael Kielsky, Maricopa County Attorney, Arizona
Zach Boyle, Alpena County Commissioner 2nd District, Michigan

Why we should refuse to enforce Drug Prohibition

  • The War on Drugs has proven far more deadly and destructive than drugs themselves.
  • Alcohol Prohibition prompted organized crime, consumption of stronger alcoholic drinks, and an epidemic of alcohol-overdose deaths.
  • Drug Prohibition has prompted the formation of deadly street gangs, use of stronger drugs, and an increase in drug-overdose deaths.
  • Because of the Drug War, the United States incarcerates more people per capita than any country on earth. More than 500,000 Americans are now serving time in jail or prison for drug “offenses.” They are peaceful citizens, separated from their children and families, who could otherwise be leading productive lives.
  • The incarceration of peaceful drug offenders has cost taxpayers more than $1 trillion since 1971.
  • More than 600,000 people are arrested every year for mere possession of marijuana, diverting attention from where it should be: on violent criminals.
  • Marijuana prohibition denies those suffering from cancer, AIDS, migraines, glaucoma, and other serious diseases their right to pursue an effective treatment that both reduces suffering and saves lives.
  • Democrats and Republicans enacted the failed War on Drugs, escalated it, and continue to defend it. It is indefensible.
  • Continuing the failed and immoral War on Drugs sends the wrong message to kids:
    – Incarcerate people who have harmed no one else.
    – Deprive people with serious illnesses of the medicine they need.
    – Stubbornly continue failed policies, while crime rages and millions suffer.
    – Be hypocrites, drinking alcohol while banning milder substances.
  • Kids can see through this irresponsible message. It encourages them to discount and disregard good advice.
  • When Drug Prohibition ends, crime will go down dramatically, making our streets and homes safer.
  • People now in prison who never harmed another human being will be free to go home to their families. Their children will grow up with their mom or dad at home.
  • Law enforcement will focus more on finding and prosecuting murderers, rapists, and thieves.
  • Each taxpayer will get back hundreds of dollars — every year — that they now spend on today’s failed prohibition. Money they can save, spend, or give away to others in need.
  • People suffering from cancer, AIDS, and other serious diseases will have dignified and safe access to medicinal marijuana, giving them their best chance for a long and healthy life.
  • Ending the War on Drugs sends the right message to kids:
    – Be personally responsible.
    – Be just, be reasonable, and honor individual rights.
    – Admit mistakes and get rid of bad laws that don’t work.
    – End unnecessary human suffering.
More

Refuse to Enforce Asset Forfeiture ("Policing for Profit")

“If elected, I will direct police not to seize citizens’ assets without (1) charging the accused of a crime and (2) proving property is subject to forfeiture by ‘clear and convincing’ evidence. No assets seized by government may be retained by any department for its own use; instead, they must be transferred to the general fund.”

Cecil Ince, Greene County Commissioner District 2, Missouri
Dustin Reamer, Genesee County Commissioner District 6, Michigan
Jack Betz, Tarrant County Constable Precinct 5, Texas
J. Tyler Lindsey, Henderson County Commissioner Precinct 1, Texas
Michael Roche, Ocean Township Town Council, New Jersey
David Reichert, McClennan County Commissioner Precinct 3, Texas
Doug Harris, Saline County Justice of the Peach District 1, Arkansas
Jeff Coleman, St. Louis County Council, Missouri
Carl Wikstrom, Saline County Justice of the Peace, District 8, Arkansas
Susan Gaztanaga, President of the Baltimore City Council, Maryland
John Roberts, East Bay Regional Park District Ward 2, California
Michael Kielsky, Maricopa County Attorney, Arizona
Benjamin Backus, Gering City Council, Ward 3, Nebraska
Angela Fisher, Washington Township Advisory Board 4, Indiana
Jacob Faught, Benton County Constable District 5, Arkansas
Zach Boyle, Alpena County Commissioner 2nd District, Michigan

Why we should refuse to enforce asset forfeiture a.k.a. policing for profit

  • Today, police can take possession of your car, your home, your bank account, and anything else you own when suspected of a crime.
  • Seizing of citizens’ assets has become so widespread that today, police take more property from American citizens (over $5 billion every year) than thieves do.
  • Without arresting you, much less charging you with a crime or proving your guilt, they can seize your possessions, forcing you to get a lawyer. You’re guilty until proven innocent.
  • The legal cost of recovering your assets can easily run higher than the value of the property that the police confiscated, forcing you to accept the loss, even if you did nothing wrong.
  • In a practice dubbed policing for profit, police departments that seize assets are permitted to keep the spoils. This gives cops a perverse incentive to take your property without due process.
  • Some police departments depend on seizing your assets to fund their budgets.
  • New Mexico has outlawed asset forfeiture. All other states should do the same.
  • Ending asset forfeiture will prevent police officers and their superiors from being tempted to seize on the assets of citizens without due process.
  • Ending asset forfeiture will restore justice.
More

Nullify Mandates on Local Government

“If elected, I will work to eliminate, or refuse to comply with, any state or federal mandates on school districts or municipalities that hinder our ability to cut spending or to eliminate or reduce taxes.”

Cecil Ince, Greene County Commissioner District 2, Missouri
Dustin Reamer, Genesee County Commissioner District 6, Michigan
J. Tyler Lindsey, Henderson County Commissioner Precinct 1, Texas
Michael Roche, Ocean Township Town Council, New Jersey
David Reichert, McClennan County Commissioner Precinct 3, Texas
Doug Harris, Saline County Justice of the Peach District 1, Arkansas
Susan Gaztanaga, President of the Baltimore City Council, Maryland
Benjamin Backus, Gering City Council, Ward 3, Nebraska
Edmund Tom Maciejewski, Berkeley Heights Town Council, New Jersey
LaDonna Higgins, St. Louis County Council, Missouri
Zach Boyle, Alpena County Commissioner, 2nd District, Michigan

Why we should nullify mandates on local government

  • State governments impose complex, onerous mandates on local communities.
  • State mandates drive up the cost of schools and other functions of local government, which results in higher property taxes.
  • Removing mandates will allow property taxes to drop.
  • State mandates divide control between local and state government, leaving neither accountable for results. Responsibility divided is responsibility denied.
  • Ending state mandates will return control to local communities, which are accountable to the citizens in the area.
  • State mandates make it harder to find and remove government waste and corruption and make it harder for citizens to see how their tax dollars are spent.
  • Returning full control to local communities allows them to minimize waste, root out corruption, and make government transparent.
  • State mandates make running local governments unnecessarily difficult, discouraging citizens from serving in office as volunteers.
  • Removing state mandates will attract more qualified volunteers to serve in office.
More

Immediately End Police Militarization

“If elected, I will sponsor and work diligently to pass legislation to prohibit the acquisition, ownership, or use of military-grade equipment by state/local police.”

Cecil Ince, Greene County Commissioner District 2, Missouri
Dustin Reamer, Genesee County Commissioner District 6, Michigan
J. Tyler Lindsey, Henderson County Commissioner Precinct 1, Texas
Michael Roche, Ocean Township Town Council, New Jersey
David Reichert, McClennan County Commissioner Precinct 3, Texas
Benjamin Backus, Gering City Council, Ward 3, Nebraska
LaDonna Higgins, St. Louis County Council, Missouri
Jeff Coleman, St. Louis County Council, Missouri
Carl Wikstrom, Saline County Justice of the Peace, District 8, Arkansas
John Roberts, East Bay Regional Park District Ward 2, California
Brian Thiemer, Fairfield City Council, California
Rudy Glover, Bexar County Constable Precinct 3, Texas
Zach Boyle, Alpena County Commissioner, 2nd District, Michigan

Why we should immediately end police militarization

  • Police forces around the United States are becoming dangerously militarized in both tactics and equipment.
  • The federal government sells military surplus to local governments — including armored personnel carriers, rocket-propelled grenades, and tactical equipment.
  • Police perform SWAT raids on homes of suspected drug offenders. Sometimes they enter the wrong house. Sometimes they shoot and kill innocent Americans.
  • Police should be peacekeepers who protect the people of their communities and serve them with respect, not as an occupying army.
  • Ending police militarization will take away the pretext for excessive use of force and leave police with just one crime-fighting mandate: go after only those who pose a real threat to others.
  • In Ferguson, Missouri, the police used armored vehicles and imposed an undeclared martial law, not allowing citizens to stand in one spot for more than 5 seconds. No ordinance was passed, nor were there any orders from any chief executive with the authority to impose such a restriction. The police took it upon themselves to enforce, with automatic weapons, a nonexistent law.
  • This led to unrest and racial tension that continues to reverberate throughout America.
  • Ending police militarization will reduce tension, reduce unrest, and make American communities safer.
More

Never Expand Big Government

“If elected, I will vote ‘no’ and work against any measure that expands government authority in any way or that increases total government spending from today’s high levels. If an essential, constitutional government function is needed, I will vote to reduce spending elsewhere to pay for it rather than raise taxes or increase government debt.”

Jack Betz, Tarrant County Constable Precinct 5, Texas
Cecil Ince, Greene County Commissioner District 2, Missouri
Michael Roche, Ocean Township Town Council, New Jersey
Benjamin Backus, Gering City Council, Ward 3, Nebraska
Carl Wikstrom, Saline County Justice of the Peace, District 8, Arkansas
David Reichert, McClennan County Commissioner Precinct 3, Texas
Doug Harris, Saline County Justice of the Peach District 1, Arkansas
Edmund Tom Maciejewski, Berkeley Heights Town Council, New Jersey
Rudy Glover, Bexar County Constable Precinct 3, Texas
Susan Gaztanaga, President of the Baltimore City Council, Maryland
Brian Thiemer, Fairfield City Council, California
Dustin Reamer, Genesee County Commissioner District 6, Michigan
Harland Harrison, Sequoia Healthcare District Board, California
Zach Boyle, Alpena County Commissioner 2nd District, Michigan

Why we should never expand government

  • When politicians propose to expand government, as they routinely do, they claim they need more money and more authority, pretending there’s little to no government waste they could cut instead.
  • But according to a 2014 Gallup poll, Americans believe: 51 percent of what federal politicians spend is waste; 42 percent of what state politicians spend is waste; and 37 percent of what local politicians spend is waste.
  • In other words, politicians waste THREE TRILLION DOLLARS ($2 trillion federal plus $1 trillion state and local) of taxpayers’ hard-earned money—every year.
  • Every time politicians raise total government spending or expand government authority, Americans pay a steep price in lost wealth and diminished freedoms.
  • Expanding government enriches special interests on the backs of everyday taxpayers.
  • Americans are already heavily burdened by hundreds of federal, state, and local taxes. Politicians tax about half of all earnings in America.
  • Citizens and businesses are already heavily burdened by thousands of regulations, mandates, and prohibitions.
  • We must remove thousands of government regulations from the books and allow the marketplace to regulate safely, effectively, and efficiently. We must never add more government regulations.
  • We must dramatically reduce total taxes and total government spending, and never increase them.
  • By removing waste and managing government budgets properly, there will never be a need for more government.
  • Stopping the assault of imposing more Big Government on the American people will force politicians to be financially responsible, will allow people to keep their desperately needed, hard-earned money, and will restore essential freedoms.
More

Require Government Financial Transparency

“Government should be at least as transparent as anyone it regulates, including citizens and businesses subjected to an IRS audit. Therefore, if elected, I will sponsor and work tirelessly to pass legislation to ‘put the government’s checkbook online’ — with consequences for noncompliance. Published financial data must be clear, well-organized and easy to find. Each government transaction must cite as much detail as the IRS demands of citizens. Government agencies that refuse to fully, clearly, and promptly disclose their finances will lose their funding, and taxes will be cut by the amount saved.”

Cecil Ince, Greene County Commissioner District 2, Missouri
Michael Roche, Ocean Township Town Council, New Jersey
Benjamin Backus, Gering City Council, Ward 3, Nebraska
Carl Wikstrom, Saline County Justice of the Peace, District 8, Arkansas
David Reichert, McClennan County Commissioner Precinct 3, Texas
Doug Harris, Saline County Justice of the Peach District 1, Arkansas
Edmund Tom Maciejewski, Berkeley Heights Town Council, New Jersey
Susan Gaztanaga, President of the Baltimore City Council, Maryland
Brian Thiemer, Fairfield City Council, California
Dustin Reamer, Genesee County Commissioner District 6, Michigan
Harland Harrison, Sequoia Healthcare District Board, California
Angela Fisher, Washington Township Advisory Board 4, Indiana
John Roberts, East Bay Regional Park District Ward 2, California
Jeff Coleman, St. Louis County Council, Missouri
J. Tyler Lindsey, Henderson County Commissioner Precinct 1, Texas
Zach Boyle, Alpena County Commissioner 2nd District, Michigan

Why we should require government financial transparency

  • Politicians demand that taxpayers and businesses divulge their personal finances to tax collectors.
  • At the same time, politicians hide government spending from taxpayers.
  • Some government budgets aren’t even available to the public, or they’re hard to find.
  • Those that are published are often grossly incomplete, confusing or unreadable. They’re not designed to inform, but rather to pull the wool over taxpayers’ eyes.
  • Some government budgets that “break down spending” contain billion-dollar line items, offering no details of how those billions are spent, much less a way to verify their accuracy.
  • Yet politicians demand that taxpayers produce receipts to prove every deductible expense. Hypocrisy at its finest.
  • Some government budgets omit “off-budget spending,” enabling politicians to hide large portions of total government spending from public scrutiny.
  • Government financial transparency will allow citizens to see how their tax dollars are being spent.
  • Government financial transparency will end politician hypocrisy.
  • Government financial transparency will expose the legions of waste in government budgets.
  • Government financial transparency will expose sweetheart deals and embezzlement.
  • Government financial transparency paves the way for cutting unneeded government spending.
  • Government financial transparency will lead to balanced budgets.
  • Government financial transparency will enable meaningful tax cuts, giving back to taxpayers the money they earned to spend, save, or give away as they see fit.
  • Government financial transparency will force government agencies to stop sloppy bookkeeping practices.
  • Government financial transparency will spotlight the fact that federal, state, and local governments, combined, account for about half of all expenditures in the American economy, every year.
  • Government financial transparency will enable voters to see the full impact of legislation and whether their results live up to expectations set by lawmakers.
  • In a free society, anything less than full government transparency is an assault on the rights of taxpayers.
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