A new poll released on Monday has shown that while Proposition 30 continues to enjoy a double digit advantage in terms of support percentage amongst voters, that support has dwindled from earlier polls, with total support coming under the 50% mark for the first time.
Proposition 30, a measure to raise annual personal income taxes on those making more than $2 million a year by 1.75%, to fund electric car, electric charging stations, and wildfire prevention programs, has been polarizing amongst voters and lawmakers alike since being approved for the November ballot earlier this year.
While Prop 30 is expected to generate between $3 and $4.5 billion a year and will have the tax sunset by either 2043 or when California achieves a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 80% below 1990 levels, opponents say that that amount will scare more millionaires out of California and will only hurt the electrical grid with more charging stations coming online.
Some, like Governor Gavin Newsom, have pointed out in ads that only companies like Lyft, the largest backer of the measure, would benefit due to a 2021 California law stating that 90% or more of all rideshare cars need to be electric by 2030, with Prop 30 essentially subsidizing the major shift for the company. He’s even been pushing it hard in ads. Others, like Congressman Tom McClintock (R-CA), have stressed the millionaires leaving/electric grid problems. But, despite opposition coming from Newsom, McClintock, the California Teachers Association, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, and other lawmakers and political groups from all sides of the political spectrum, support still remains high.
According to a new UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies (IGS) poll released on Monday, support for Proposition 30 is currently at 49%, with those opposing it currently sitting at 37% and 15% undecided. Split amongst party preference, 69% of Democrats favor yes on Prop 30, while only 15% of Republicans and 49% of both no party preference and other parties were in favor. Broken down by age, those 39 or younger had an above 50% support level, with older groups trending more and more below that mark.
“It’s easy to see the real split on Prop 30,” explained Elsie Castro, a ballot issue advisor to the Globe on Tuesday. “A lot of people, especially younger people, want the rich taxed more because they think they need to pay a more fair share. At the same time, the way it is being presented, as a tax on the rich to help make it better for electric cars and such, has a lot of support. But in recent weeks, many are questioning Prop 30 more and more. Some of it has to do with people not liking Lyft seeing this as a huge money saver on their part, and others becoming more aware of electrical grid stresses after the recent heat waves. I mean, millions of Californians got text messages warning them to turn off power, now there is this that will only increase electrical usage.”
“More and more people are getting a more nuanced view. In July, a Prop 30 poll had 63% for, 35% against, and 2% undecided. After a few months, support is now below 50%, the number against has gone up, and undecideds, the majority of whom vote no, has gone way up. Prop 30 was a surefire thing, but now it is in play. And there is still a month to go. More and more people are seeing this more than just a tax on the rich that was the main point when it was first introduced.”
Voters are to decide on Prop 30 on November 8th. By-mail ballots are due to be mailed out soon.
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