That was the message from a handful of Republican Assembly members this morning as they applauded their resistance during budget talks to approving temporary tax extensions. The budget plan passed by the Legislature this week assures that those taxes will expire at midnight, which the legislators say will save the average Californian about $260 each year.
"This is a great day for California," said Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, R-Twin Peaks. "The death of these taxes is the rebirth of our economy."
As the legislators gathered in front of a pair of SUVs at Downtown Ford in Sacramento, Assembly Republican leader Connie Conway said that someone buying a $20,000 car this weekend would pay $300 less in taxes and fees than if they bought the car today.
"We've held the line. We've not negotiated. We're very happy that July 1st is coming," said Assemblyman Steve Knight, R-Palmdale.
Gov. Jerry Brown's original budget plan required at least two Republican votes each from the Assembly and the Senate. It would have held steady the rates for income and sales taxes and vehicle license fees. Instead, all of those rates will drop under the spending plan that Brown is expected to sign into law today.
Democratic leaders said Republicans missed out on a chance to enact significant pension, spending and regulatory reforms by not agreeing to temporarily extend those taxes.
But Conway said Brown walked away from the negotiating table because labor unions could not swallow the reforms that Republicans wanted.
"It was an opportunity to squandered by the governor," she said. "Our agenda is to honor and respect the taxpayers that provide the money for the budget."
PHOTO CREDIT: Conway speaking at Thursday's event. Paresh Dave / Sacramento Bee.