Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s reelection campaign spent over $1.6 million to oppose a climate initiative that would raise taxes on millionaires to help low-income Californians buy electric cars. Despite this, Newsom, who is a multimillionaire, has previously touted his administration’s efforts to rapidly cut carbon emissions and get more electric vehicles (EVs) on the road.
Newsom, who boasts an estimated net worth of around $20 million, signed a bill in September to codify ambitious emissions reduction targets and praised the California Air Resources Board’s decision to ban all gasoline-powered car sales by 2035. However, Newsom’s campaign gave $1,617,216 to the “No on 30” committee, which opposes Proposition 30, a ballot measure that institutes an additional 1.75% tax on individuals that make over $2 million a year to help disadvantaged Californians buy EVs, according to campaign finance disclosures filed Tuesday. (RELATED: After Mandating Electric Vehicles, Newsom Campaigns Against Law That Would Raise Taxes On His Donors To Fund EVs)
Newsom aims to make his state’s auto industry “all-electric” by 2035 and will spend $10 billion of taxpayers’ money to “aggressively fight the climate crisis” by phasing out gas cars and building EV infrastructure. The Democrat called Proposition 30 an irresponsible “special interest carve-out” and argued that the proposed law was designed to “funnel” state income tax to Lyft, a large rideshare company, according to a statement Newsom’s campaign provided to the Daily Caller News Foundation.
“California’s tax revenues are famously volatile, and this measure would make our state’s finances more unstable − all so that special interests can benefit,” Newsom said in the statement. “Californians should know that just this year our state committed $10 billion for electric vehicles and their infrastructure, part of a $54 billion nation-leading package to fight climate change and build a zero-emission future.”
A small percentage of California taxpayers would fund Proposition 30’s EV initiatives as only 35,000 of the state’s residents reported adjusted gross incomes greater than $2 million, according to 2019 statistics published by the state’s Franchise Tax Board.
Although the measure could help Lyft by raising money to help the company’s drivers buy electric cars, environmentalists began drafting the measure before the company became involved, CEO of California Environmental Voters Mary Creasman told CBS News. A Lyft spokeswoman previously told the Daily Caller News Foundation that none of the $3.5 billion to $5 billion in tax revenue generated by the law was “earmarked” for the rideshare industry.
Californians will vote to implement or reject Proposition 30 on Nov. 8.
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