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Proposition 30

October 10, 2022

Proposition 30 would fund wildfire prevention, sustain wildfire-fighting resources, and reduce air pollution by expanding access to electric vehicles.

Californians face health-threatening pollution and deadly wildfires every day. Piecemeal environmental reforms are important for mitigating some of climate change’s devastating effects, but our state must make bold investments if we’re going to make significant progress in our fight against climate change. The proponents of Proposition 30 put forward the measure to tax the wealthiest Californians to fund wildfire prevention and help cut vehicle emissions by expanding electric-vehicle access for all Californians, especially those living in heavily polluted and low-income communities.

Proposition 30 would impose a 1.75% personal income tax increase on the wealthiest Californians — those who make more than $2 million per year — to fund wildfire prevention, wildfire fighting, and electric-vehicle access programs. Forty-five percent of the funding from Prop. 30 would go toward helping families, businesses, and local governments pay for zero-emissions vehicles; 35 percent would go toward installing and operating zero-emissions vehicle- charging stations; and 20 percent would go toward wildfire prevention and fighting efforts, with the state being required to prioritize spending to hire, train, and retain firefighters. Per state analysts, Prop. 30 is estimated to increase state funding for electric-vehicle access and infrastructure by $2.8 billion to $4 billion annually, and the measure is also estimated to increase state funding for wildfire prevention and fighting by $700 million to $1 billion annually. 

A YES vote on Proposition 30 means: Californians making over $2 million annually would pay an additional tax of 1.75 percent on personal income above $2 million. The funds from this tax would go towards wildfire prevention and fighting activities, as well as programs to expand electric vehicle infrastructure and access, with focus on low-income and heavily polluted communities.

A NO vote on Proposition 30 means: Californians making over $2 million annually would not see changes to taxes on personal income above $2 million annually.

More information:

  • The state’s Air Resources Board has planned and set targets for 100 percent of new cars sold in California to be zero-emissions vehicles by 2035. However, access to electric vehicles remains out of reach for many low- and middle-income Californians. The current average electric-vehicle owner in California is a white homeowner who makes $190,000 a year. Funding electric-vehicle infrastructure and providing rebates, grants, and financial assistance to make electric vehicles affordable is one major way that California can advance its statewide commitment to slashing emissions. At least half of the funds generated by Prop. 30 must be spent on projects that benefit heavily polluted and/or low-income communities. 

Top funders of Proposition 30:

  • The top funders of the main ballot measure committee supporting Proposition 30 are the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Lyft, and Zinc Collective. As of August 1, the Yes on 30 Clean Air California committee has raised $16 million and spent $14 million since Jan. 1, 2022. Other major supporters include the California Democratic Party, California Environmental Voters, the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California, Natural Resources Defense Council, and IE United.
  • The recently formed No on 30 campaign has raised $9 million since August 1, 2022, mostly from billionaires Catherine Dean, Mark Heising, and Michael Mortiz. Other notable opposition to Proposition 30 includes the California Chamber of Commerce, Governor Gavin Newsom, the California Teachers Association, and the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.

Misinformation about Proposition 30 includes:

  • The California Chamber of Commerce claims that Proposition 30 is unnecessary because California has the “highest personal income tax rate in the country at 13.3%.” However, only Californians making over $1 million a year are taxed at that rate, and the average household income in 2020 dollars in California is $78,672. 
  • The California Teachers Association opposes Proposition 30 because funds raised from the measure would be exempt from a requirement that half of any new state revenues go to public education. Prop. 30 does not affect the current school-funding formula.
  • The Yes on 30 committee does receive major funding from Lyft. The state requires ride-sharing companies to use more zero-emissions vehicles to provide ride-sharing services, so increasing the number of electric vehicles driven by Californians generally could indirectly help companies like Lyft reach their zero-emissions vehicle goals as mandated by the state. However, the ballot measure itself was written by environmental organizations, including California Environmental Voters, and the ballot measure language makes no mention of rideshare companies. 

https://yeson30. org/