Experience guide to Proposition 30: Tax millionaires for EV and wildfire funding

Michael Benedian, Editor-in-Chief

Editor’s note: With the upcoming Midterm Election on Nov. 8, there are a handful of propositions for California voters to consider. Despite the brief explanations on the ballot, they can still be confusing for people who have no idea what they are or what will be changed if they vote yes or no. These are important decisions that will affect many Californians. This is the sixth of seven summaries that will give voters more information on what the proposition is and what are the pros and cons that come with them.

Proposition 30 is a California ballot proposition that looks to increase the tax on the wealthy and allocate that revenue towards funding for wildfire prevention programs and incentives for zero emission vehicles. The tax would affect citizens whose personal income is over $2 million and would take effect in the beginning of Jan. 2023.

One of the pros for this proposition is that wildfire prevention programs would get the funding they need to prevent repeats of the disaster wildfires that have occurred in 2017 and beyond. It would help create more firefighters and equipment to future proof for the next devastating summer that is bound to happen. Another program that could benefit greatly from Prop 30 is the clean air program, which is looking to cut down on air pollution from not just  wildfires, but car emissions too. 

Tax revenue would help alleviate car emissions by creating more statewide charging stations and make electric vehicles more affordable. As of Aug. 25, California has already taken the initiative and has approved of the Advanced Clean Cars II rule which ramps up production of electric vehicles. The rule sets up a year-by-year roadmap that looks to aim for 2035 to have 100% of the new vehicles sold in California be zero emission vehicles, including hybrids.

The California Democratic Party backs this proposition along with San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo. They believe that by passing Proposition 30, it will help put California on track to meeting their goals on combating climate change.

As for the cons, this proposition can raise taxes by up to $90 billion for as long as 20 years for every Californian. It can also strain our already struggling electricity grid with the new additions of charging stations for electric vehicles that would be installed all around California. This could especially be dangerous during the summertime, when extreme heat waves are incoming and every Californian has their fans and AC on.

California Governor Gavin Newsom is opposed to the proposition and has called it out on the basis of it being a scheme due to ride share company Lyft being the highest donor. Newsom has also said that this proposition can lead to many residents moving out of the state because Californians already pay the highest national income taxes.

Down below are links to the other six proposition guides which will help you get an understanding:

Proposition 1: Constitutional right to reproductive freedom

Proposition 26: Allow sports betting at tribal casinos

Proposition 27: Allow online sports betting

Proposition 28: Arts & music education funding

Proposition 29: Impose rules on dialysis clinics

Proposition 31: Uphold flavored tobacco ban