The debate over Proposition 30 is heating up.
More Democratic leaders are coming out to support it, while Gov. Gavin Newsom is campaigning against it.
Prop 30 would raise income taxes by 1.75% for people earning more than $2 million a year. That could generate around $5 billion a year.
Most of that money would go to programs that help people buy electric cars and install charging stations. Twenty percent would be used to boost CalFire staffing and wildfire prevention and response programs.
San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo is joining Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and the state’s Democratic party in supporting it, saying it’s time to act with urgency on climate change.
“If someone’s got a better solution, let’s hear it,” Liccardo said. “But right now, we’ve got to do everything we can to support our firefighters who are out there and do what we can to electrify transportation systems because that’s our only path forward.”
That’s in stark contrast with Newsom, who not only opposes the prop but is the face of the No on Prop 30 campaign in TV ads running across the state.
Newsom argues Prop 30, as it’s written, would benefit ride-hailing company Lyft, which has now spent $25 million to get voters to say yes.
When asked about it last week in San Jose, Newsom questioned the need for a tax increase that would benefit select corporations to do something the state is already doing.
“There’s one large corporation, wonderful company, that’s going to be one of the lion’s share beneficiaries of raising everybody else’s taxes to direct money in an area where we just passed the largest appropriation in the largest [state] budget in U.S. history, $53.9 billion for our transition to electric vehicles and climate change,” Newsom said.
Supporters argue it would help all Californians by making electric cars more affordable.
“This is not a giveaway to Lyft,” said Michael Lane, state policy director at SPUR. “That’s a very small portion. Those drivers are all private business people in their own rights who have their own cars. But what about everyone else who’s driving who’s lower income trying to get to work and needs a vehicle and they need to move to electric? This is the kind of program that will help them.”
Source: NBC Bay Area