What’s left of the California Republican Party could be making a last stand in 2020 to uphold a core foundation held by the state’s GOP for half-a-century and more: checking the rise of taxes.

Call it the GOP’s Alamo moment. Yes, in the history of the fight for Texas independence the defeat at the Alamo was a last stand. But it has a second meaning. After the Texas defenders were wiped out in San Antonio their countrymen rallied and succeeded in winning independence using the Alamo as a rallying cry.

It seems strange to talk about more taxes being put up to voters in the shadow of the Legislative Analyst’s Office announcement that the state is swimming in extra cash. On top of the $14 or so billion reserve there is another nearly $15 billion in unexpected money. The analyst says the total surplus in percentage terms is second only to the surplus revenues the state enjoyed in the 2001-2 budget year just prior to the dot-com bust and recession.

However, it falls short of what state Treasurer Jesse Unruh called an “obscene” surplus in 1978 just prior to the Proposition 13 tax revolt. Based on the size of the state general fund budget, today’s surplus revenue including the rainy day fund runs about 23%. That’s obscene surplus territory but below the well over 30% surplus revenue that Unruh referenced with his comment.

With so much money to spend, why would the majority Democrats want to raise taxes? Because they have many ideas on how to spend the money and that may make the 2020 ballot a battlefield over the tax issue. For starters, consider the list of new programs governor-elect Gavin Newsom embraced during the campaign from universal pre-school to health care for all.

Perhaps, there will be an opportunity for Republicans to appeal to voters who have had enough.

Already qualified for the 2020 ballot is a split roll property tax measure intended to raise billions of dollars off of commercial property. Submitted for signature circulation is a measure to open the door for raising soda taxes. There are discussions of applying a sales tax to services in the state; and the long held dream of tax increase supporters of applying an oil severance tax could gain traction, pushed by both environmentalist groups and tax increase advocates.

While such a scenario of many tax measures on the ballot would seem unlikely and a poor strategy given the surplus (which may or may not be around in two years) and the idea of competing taxes on the same ballot, think of the circumstances surrounding the 2020 election.

Coming off a background of voters sending Democrats to practically all the elected offices in the state and supporting hundreds of local taxes, the 2020 ballot will be an opportunity for California voters to directly rebuke President Donald Trump, who has record low approval ratings in the state. Pro-tax increase advocates see these same voters lining up to support their issues when they come to the polls to vote against Trump. And, they expect record numbers of voters will do so.

An example of this strategic thinking: Supporters of the split roll initiative had the ability to qualify their measure in 2018 but held off believing the 2020 election would increase the likelihood it would pass.

If the Democratic supermajority and pro-tax interest groups find their reach exceeds their grasp on taxation, the Republicans have an opportunity to rise from the ashes.

On the other hand, rejection of anti-tax resistance by the voters would prove to be the final nail in the coffin of the California Republican Party.