Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom of California is urging Californians to vote against a ballot proposition that would raise taxes for individuals who make more than $2 million a year, according to a political advertisement that aired Monday.
The legislation, Proposition 30, would impose an additional 1.75% tax on annual incomes of more than $2 million to help the state pay for electric vehicles (EVs) and EV infrastructure, according to the advertisement.
Newsom declared that the measure was a “trojan horse” being disguised as a climate measure by Lyft, a rideshare company that he claimed is trying to benefit from the provision.
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“Prop 30 is a trojan horse that puts corporate welfare above the fiscal welfare of our entire state,” Newsom stated in the advertisement. “It was devised by a single corporation to funnel state income taxes to benefit their company.”
Although Newsom did not explicitly mention Lyft in the video, the ad includes several news headlines referencing the company’s connection to the ballot proposition. A portion of Proposition 30’s tax revenue will be used to help individuals pay for new EVs and since Lyft contracts independent drivers, some of its workers could benefit from the money raised from the provision.
“Prop 30 speeds up a clean energy transition by asking only the wealthiest 0.2% to pay a little more, so the costs don’t fall on working Californians,” a Lyft spokesperson told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “We’re standing with the American Lung Association, state firefighters, climate advocates and others in doing something about climate problems, while Governor Newsom stands with his billionaire donors looking to protect their bank accounts.”
Lyft contributed $15 million to help promote Proposition 30, according to Ballotpedia. Lyft and other ridesharing companies must ensure that their vehicle fleets consist of only EVs by 2030 to comply with a rule implemented by the state in 2021.
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“Not a single dollar of Proposition 30 is earmarked for the rideshare industry,” the Lyft spokesperson continued.
Newsom called Lyft’s support for the proposition “a cynical scheme to grab a huge taxpayer-funded subsidy” in the ad.
The tax could generate between $3.5 million and $5 million of revenue annually, according to an estimate conducted by the state Legislative Analyst’s Office. California will ban all gas-powered car sales by 2035 and will invest $10 billion over the next several years to get more EVs on the road.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Free Press.