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The Taxpayer Caucus

On Wednesday, 30 Republican legislators assembled what they have called the “Taxpayer Caucus” that, according to the FlashReport,

The new caucus vows to support State budgets that balance 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.

Above is a video of the press conference leaders of the group held on the Capitol stairs.

The Sacramento Bee discusses who is not yet part of the caucus:

With so many GOP lawmakers signing up, the group puts a spotlight on those who did not join. The fact that 12 Republicans did not sign may give hope to Democrats that a compromise is possible. On the other hand, it also gives conservatives a target list.

Assembly Republican leader Connie Conway, R-Tulare, and Senate Republican leader Bob Dutton, R-Rancho Cucamonga, are not part of the coalition.

The group of non-signatories also includes Sen. Sam Blakeslee, R-San Luis Obispo, Sen. Anthony Cannella, R-Ceres, and Assemblyman Bill Berryhill, R-Ceres, the only GOP legislators who have not signed the Americans for Tax Reform pledge to oppose tax hikes. It also includes Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian, R-San Luis Obispo, who once resisted signing that pledge but did so after facing ridicule from conservatives.

Senator Anthony Cannella, who has not joined the caucus, nevertheless promotes the cause of Enterprise Zones in the Modesto Bee today:

Also disconcerting is the proposal to eliminate both redevelopment agencies and enterprise zones, the two primary tools cities and counties in Central California have to attract new businesses and stimulate economic growth.

Local governments rely on redevelopment dollars to fund major projects, which in turn create local jobs. Every year, more than 300,000 jobs are supported by these funds, including 170,000 jobs in the still-struggling construction industry — jobs we can’t afford to risk with unemployment standing at 17.6 percent in Stanislaus County and soaring past 12 percent statewide.

The elimination of enterprise zones would further stifle economic development and job growth by functioning as a tax on employers and job creators. Last year alone, enterprise zones helped save or create some 10,000 jobs every month across the state.

If we are to address our state’s long- term financial problems, we must get to work now to stimulate long-term economic growth — and much of that growth will take root first in our communities.

But that growth will be all the slower under the heavy burden of new public safety and social service responsibilities, combined with the loss of job growth currently supported by enterprise zones and redevelopment agencies.

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