California voters oppose taxing the rich for more electric cars

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – California’s wealthiest residents will not see a tax hike after voters on Tuesday rejected a measure that would have raised interest rates on income over $2 million to get more electric cars on the road.

The defeat of Proposition 30 marks a victory for Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, who has campaigned against it despite his administration’s efforts to ban the sale of most new gas-powered cars next decade. He branded it a taxpayer-funded giveaway for ridesharing, which California regulations must ensure nearly all trips booked through its services are zero-emissions by 2030. Ride-sharing company Lyft provided most of the funding for the Yes campaign.

“California voters have firmly rejected this poorly done and unnecessary tax increase,” the No campaign said in a statement. “The fact is, Proposition 30 was a solution to a problem the state is already addressing.”

Newsom, who easily won a second termHe did not immediately comment on the defeat of the measure.

The measure would have levied a 1.75% tax on income over $2 million. That’s an estimated fewer than 43,000 taxpayers in a state of nearly 40 million people. Even without that, California’s top earners pay more than 13%, the country’s highest income tax.

Most of the money would have gone to programs that help people buy electric cars or install more chargers, with some money earmarked for those on lower incomes. A fifth of the money would have gone towards increasing resources to fight wildfires, another major source of emissions in the state.

With a share of around 40%, traffic is the largest source of climate-damaging emissions in California. This applies not only to passenger cars, but also to vans, ships, public transport and other means of transport.

Meanwhile, wildfires spew tens of millions of tons of carbon into the air as they burn California’s forests and threaten to set back California’s progress on its climate goals.

“With Prop 30, we had a chance to create a healthier, safer future for our state and our families — one with less air pollution, fewer catastrophic wildfires, and the opportunity to save our state from some of the most devastating effects of climate change. ‘ the Yes campaign said in a statement.

At Newsom’s direction, California’s aviation regulators earlier this year issued a sales ban on new cars that run exclusively on gasoline, beginning in 2035. Automakers would have to sell cars that run on hydrogen, batteries, or hybrid vehicles that run on a gas battery combo . People could still drive their gas-powered cars or buy used ones.

Newsom noted that his government has already committed $10 billion to boost electric transportation over the next six years.

Supporters of the measure, including most of the major environmental groups, said the state needs a dedicated, robust funding source to build infrastructure that can handle more plug-in cars and to help Californians of all income brackets make the purchase.

All-electric or hybrid cars accounted for about 18% of new car sales this year, according to Newsom’s office.

That needs to double by 2026 to meet new government regulations on car sales.

By 2045, the state wants to be “carbon neutral,” meaning it wouldn’t be blowing emissions into the air that it can’t remove. That requires massive reductions in emissions from vehicles and other sources, and building technologies that can capture carbon as it is emitted or pull it out of the air and then store it underground.


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