Proposition 30 was handily defeated.
A California ballot measure that would have hit wealthy residents with a new tax to help fund charging stations and electric vehicle subsidies in the state was defeated this past Tuesday.
Proposition 30 lost 59.1% to 40.9%, per the California Secretary of State's official results. The measure was backed by Lyft, which paid for 95% ($45 million) of the campaign's funding. It would have imposed an extra 1.75% tax on incomes above $2 million if passed.
Backers argued this would have helped all Californians, especially low-income residents, and an accelerated shift to EVs. Some 20% of the funds would have gone to wildfire prevention and additional firefighter training programs. A key reason why Lyft was so heavily involved is that it wants 100% of vehicles on its platform to be electric by 2030.
Making EV incentives more accessible to low-income earners, the theory goes, would help increase Lyft's supply of drivers. Although Prop. 30 was supported by several key California lawmakers and environmental groups, just re-elected Governor Gavin Newsom was against the measure, stating it was nothing more than an attempt by Lyft to benefit at the expense of the rich.
"Prop. 30 is being advertised as a climate initiative," Newsom stated during the campaign. "But in reality, it was devised by a single corporation to funnel state income taxes to benefit their company. Put simply, Prop. 30 is a Trojan Horse that puts corporate welfare above the fiscal welfare of our entire state."
Newsom does not want wealthy residents to flee the state. Interestingly, Uber remained silent on the matter. And yet it was Newsom who initiated a plan to end sales of new combustion engine vehicles by 2035. He even posed on the hood of a Ford Mustang Mach-E when the project was passed several months ago. Newsom has also been campaigning nationwide for stricter policies fighting climate change.
There's no doubt California will continue to be a leader in the shift to electric vehicles and fighting climate change, but certain groups will have to find alternative ways to fund future EV subsidies.