Progressive politicians in California have long pushed for tax-the-rich policies and a green-energy agenda. When those two issues were combined into one ballot initiative this week, however, the state’s voters overwhelmingly rejected it.
The goal of Proposition 30 was to raise taxes on the wealthiest Californians — those making more than $2 million per year — in order to provide, in part, more funding for electric vehicle infrastructure and incentives.
When all the votes were tallied, the measure received a “no” vote from nearly three-fifths of the electorate.
Breaking: California voters on Tuesday rejected Proposition 30, a plan to spend $30 billion to $90 billion to subsidize the electric car industry over the next 20 years, with the state’s highest-income Californians picking up the tab.https://t.co/Yu6hHo3lqn pic.twitter.com/AqQZFwma64
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) November 9, 2022
In addition to pushing the state’s extreme position on electric vehicles, the additional 1.75% income tax would have also helped fund wildfire prevention efforts across California.
Shortly after the proposition’s defeat was confirmed, the activist group behind it acknowledged the result in a statement on Wednesday.
“Although we came up short, the strong support for this measure from firefighters, public health groups, environmentalists, labor, and many of the state’s leaders shows the urgency for action,” declared Clean Air California.
The organization went on to blame a cabal of the world’s richest individuals for spending “tens of millions of dollars on lies and disinformation” designed to doom the proposition. Of course, the proposal also had several inconvenient detractors — including Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom.
He castigated Lyft for promoting the proposition, calling it a “tax grab” as ridesharing companies across the state move toward a 2030 deadline by which 90% of their respective fleets must be electric vehicles.
“Prop. 30 is being advertised as a climate initiative,” the governor advised in a campaign advertisement opposing the initiative. “But in reality, it was devised by a single corporation, to funnel state income taxes to benefit their company.”
The California Chamber of Commerce also came out firmly against the proposition, asserting that the tax hike would cause even more of the state’s wealthiest citizens to consider moving elsewhere.
Jennifer Barrera, the chamber’s president, issued a statement declaring that “tax increases are unnecessary, and efforts should be focused on how existing General Fund dollars can be spent on assisting Californians.”
Moving forward, Clean Air California called on Newsom “to work with legislative leaders to find other ways to fund the transition to a cleaner equitable transportation system and to prevent and control catastrophic wildfires.”