Details on California’s Clean Air Initiative, Proposition 30

Carmela Karcher

Wildfires and smog.

Two big hurdles every Californian faces each day.

But on this year’s November ballot, one proposition is trying to change just that.

“Almost every Californian lives in a community impacted by unhealthy air. 98%,” American Lung Association’s National Senior Director for Clean Air Advocacy, Will Barrett, shared. “Proposition 30 would create a long term stable investment fund for cleaning up two of the largest sources of pollution that threatens health in California: transportation and wildfire smoke”

But, how will it work?

“We’re dealing with transportation by investing in zero emission passenger vehicles, buses, heavy duty trucks, as well as infrastructure to support the growth in those vehicles that don’t pollute and that actually help improve our air which is so desperately needed,” Barrett explained. “The other piece of it is really looking at ways that we can prevent the worst impacts of extreme wildfire activity and respond to extreme wildfires that do happen.”

But this prop won’t impact everyone who pays taxes.

Taxpayers who make a personal income above $2 million annually would pay an additional tax of 1.75 percent.

Many large corporations are backing this ballot measure, including rideshare company, Lyft.

But according to the “No on Prop 30” website, they are calling this the “Lyft Tax Grab.”

The group says this measure is an attempt by Lyft to get taxpayers to foot the bill for the company transitioning to all electric, citing the California Air Resources Board passing a rule in 2021 requiring rideshare companies to mainly use zero-emission cars by the year 2030.

One major California political figure agrees: Governor Gavin Newsom.

“Put simply, Prop 30 is a trojan horse that puts corporate welfare above the fiscal welfare of our entire state,” Governor Newsom said in a “No for Prop 30” advertisement.

In a statement from Lyft Co-founder and CEO, Logan Green, he says in part, “I’m fortunate enough to be impacted by this tax and happy to pay it to help turn back the clock on this existential threat…We are committed to achieving 100% vehicle electrification regardless of Proposition 30’s outcome. Not a single dollar of Proposition 30 is earmarked for Lyft or the ridesharing industry as a whole.”

Regardless, this is a major measure in the upcoming election.

“This is no small feat,” Barret said. “It’s a major opportunity on the ballot.”

For more information on Yes on Prop 30, click here.

For more information on No on Prop 30, click here.

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