Income tax

What is Prop 30? The High Net Worth Income Tax Measure for Electric Vehicles Explained

SAN FRANCISCO– Should taxes be raised on the wealthiest Californians to fund new climate projects, including subsidies for electric vehicles? This is the question at the heart of Proposition 30.

The measure would raise taxes by 1.75% on people earning more than $2 million. These revenues would go to funding electric vehicles, charging stations and other infrastructure, as well as forest fire prevention.

Opponents say it’s a ploy by ride-sharing company Lyft, which backs the accessory. Proponents say it would help California transition to clean energy and meet climate goals like banning gas-powered cars by 2035.

“The hope is that we can really be on track to meet our climate goals,” said Nick Josefowitz, chief policy officer of Bay Area think tank SPUR, which backs Prop 30. dollars over the next 20 years in making electric vehicles accessible to all Californians and small businesses by making charging these electric vehicles as easy as when you fill up your gas car.”

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The measure is backed by the California Democratic Party, as well as environmental voters in California.

The biggest financial contributor is Lyft. The ride-sharing company paid around $15 million for the accessory.

The group’s involvement has created a split among Democrats.

Governor Gavin Newsom is vehemently against the measure. In a statement, it said, “Prop. 30 is a special interest exclusion – a cynical ploy devised by one corporation to funnel state tax revenue into its business.”

“The question, more than anything, is not whether the rich should pay their fair share. The question is whether the money should go to Lyft?” Matthew Rodriguez, who leads the group No on Prop 30, said.

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Rodriguez said the measure is a ploy by Lyft to get taxpayers to help it fulfill its state mandate to electrify their fleet of vehicles. He also argued that the state had already invested heavily in similar climate initiatives and that the measure was too limited in scope.

“There are a lot of priorities that we have in the state,” he said, “and we can’t go to the ballot every time to raise taxes on one company, as opposed to the whole of State.”

The California Teachers Association is also opposed to the measure.

Lyft said in a statement that environmental groups have approached the company about a measurement partnership. “We were excited about this prospect,” said Lyft spokesperson CJ Macklin. “The recent heat wave and the increasing number of wildfires across the state remind us how urgent it is for us to act on the climate crisis and how we are all going to have to do our part.”

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Newsom’s opposition has intrigued some Prop 30 supporters, who believe it would help fund the governor’s own climate goals. Jeremy White, California political reporter at Politico, says there could be more behind Newsom’s fierce opposition.

“It has been made clear that this is the same governor touting his order requiring all new California-made cars to be zero or low-emissions by 2035,” White told ABC7 News. “But I understand there is also a broader reluctance on the part of the Governor to consider tax increases at this time, particularly given inflation and some of the harbingers of recession that we saw on the horizon.”

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