Governor Gavin Newsom is making it his mission this election year to defeat Proposition 30. He’s certainly spending more time as a spokesperson against it than he is getting himself re-elected.

So, what is Proposition 30? In short, it’s a measure that would tax the very rich to fund electric vehicle infrastructure and wildfire prevention programs. Specifically, Prop 30 would:

  • Raise the income tax on those making $2 Million annually to 15.05 percent, which is only a 1.75 percent increase on the current 13.3 percent. The tax would take effect on January 1, 2023 if voters approve on November 8
  • Income gained by the additional tax would be placed in a fund known as the Clean Cars and Clean Air Trust Fund (CCCATF). It would then be further disbursed into the following group of three “sub-funds” at specific percentages:
    • 35 percent to the Zero-Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Investment Plan
    • 45 percent to the Zero-Emission Vehicle and Clean Mobility Sub-Fund
    • 20 percent to the Wildfire Green House Gas Emissions Reduction Sub-Fund
  • The sub-funds would fund charging stations and other electric vehicle infrastructure, zero-emissions vehicles, and the hiring and training of firefighters

Newsom calls Prop 30 a special interest carve-out benefiting the campaign’s largest donor by far, Lyft, who donated $15 Million to help pass the measure. He points out that the State budgeted $10 Billion already this year to create this infrastructure, and therefore Prop 30 is just a corporate giveaway.

Here’s the thing. While we’re certainly against corporate welfare, we think the benefits of the initiative vastly outweigh the fact that one disruptive ride service company stands to gain. The expected fiscal impact of the measure is that it will produce between $3-4.5 Billion a year to prepare our state for the 2035 milestone when a ban on any new gas-powered vehicle sales will take effect in California.

Does the governor think his $10 Billion will be enough? We do not. 2035 is, for this tax’s purpose, only 12 years away. This $3 to 4 Billion a year will be welcome insurance that electric vehicle infrastructure gets built and more firefighters are on the front lines shortening the length, and environmental damage, of the huge wildfires we have and will continue to be suffering.

We also like who’s supporting Yes on Prop 30. A partial list of endorsements includes:

  • American Lung Association
  • Breathe Southern California
  • California Democratic Party
  • California Environmental Voters (Formerly California League of Conservation Voters [CLCV])
  • Climate Resolve
  • Coalition for Clean Air
  • Los Angeles Clean Tech Incubator (LACI)
  • Move LA
  • Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)

As well as the Westside’s state delegation to Sacramento:

  • State Senator Ben Allen
  • State Senator Sydney Kamlager
  • State Senator Henry Stern
  • State Assemblymember Richard Bloom
  • State Assemblymember Isaac Bryan
  • State Assemblymember Tina McKinnor

Who’s against it? Newsom is joined by the California Republican Party and the Howard Jarvis Taxpayer’s Association. Due respect to the governor, but we prefer the company in the first two lists. And why would the Republicans be so opposed – after all, the Proposition comes with an interesting sunset clause. Republicans love good things to phase out! The added tax for the wealthy would come to an end at one of the following dates, depending on what comes first:

  • Either January 1, 2043 (total shelf life of 20 years), or
  • Starting in 2030, on January 1 following the first three years straight that the state’s emissions are shown to be reduced by 80 percent of 1990 levels

It also comes with a strict limit on administrative costs. But alas, it affects the very wealthy, so the Republicans and Jarvis folks really shouldn’t surprise.

We think Westsiders should set Newsom’s fixation aside and vote Yes on 30. They should do so with all the confidence in the world that they are helping California create high-wage jobs, meet its own climate goals, and create the promise of a green energy future.

Learn More at the Yes on 30 Website:

Photo credit to Aranga87

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