GOP Legislators Launch ‘Taxpayers Caucus’

Two-thirds of Republicans in the California Legislature — 22 in Assembly and eight in the Senate — have formed a ‘taxpayer caucus’ that pledges to block the governor’s efforts to ask voters to extend for five years billions of dollars in taxes.

Organizers say that they aim to give taxpayers a stronger voice inside the State Capitol during California’s budget crisis. The new caucus vows to support a state budget that balances the budget without gimmicks; oppose and vote against any budget that increases taxes; oppose and vote against placing tax increases on the ballot; uphold Proposition 13; and support tax cuts that bring back jobs and stimulate the economy.

The seven members who attended the press conference announcing the formation railed on existing regulations and tax rates they say are hurting California workers and businesses, arguing voters have already spoken on taxes by rejecting past tax increases on the ballot in recent elections.

At Wednesday’s news conference on the Capitol steps, Assemblyman Donald Wagner (R-Irvine), a co-chairman of the caucus, said the message to Brown was clear: “You’re not getting Republicans to go for tax increases.”

Attending members were adamant that they would not vote for the tax extensions — which require an AYE vote of two-thirds of lawmakers’ to make it on the ballot — without giving voters the option of tax cuts, even if proposals they support, including pension reforms or a spending limit, were on the table. They said they would be working to present ideas for job creation and economic recovery in the future.

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