California Proposition 30


Nick Vides

Should Proposition 30 pass, it would allot money for wildfire mitigation and help reduce the state’s carbon footprint. Lyft wrote and bankrolled the proposition.

Peter Morales, Reporter

Amid the countless fires that have ravaged California, citizens, with the help of rideshare company Lyft, have offered a chance to reduce California’s carbon footprint, and help push towards an electric alternative.

In the past seven years, forest fires have devastated parts of Sonoma County and have impacted residents’ sense of security. This latest proposition seeks to prevent another one. 

On Nov. 8, Californians will vote on Proposition 30 and decide whether to increase the tax on personal income above $2 million and use the increased revenue to prevent future forest fires and lower greenhouse emissions.

The bill states that for each year beginning on or after 2023, an additional 1.75% tax shall be imposed on a taxpayer’s taxable income in excess of two million dollars.

The bill allocates 45% of the new revenue for rebates and other incentives for zero-emission vehicle purchases, 35% for charging stations for zero-emission vehicles with at least half of the percentage directed to low-income households and communities, and 20% for wildfire prevention and suppression programs, with priority given to hiring and training firefighters.

While taxing the rich sounds like a surefire way to raise money for clean air projects and wildfire prevention, much of the opposition focuses on the fact that the proposition itself was written and bankrolled by Lyft, and the company will clearly benefit if the proposition passes.

Proponents of the bill, including the Democratic Party, CAL FIRE Local 2881 and Lyft, say that climate change is the reason for the countless droughts and dry seasons California has experienced, and that fire season is practically year-round. The bill would provide funding to both reduce the state’s carbon footprint and provide additional resources to prevent and combat forest fires. 

Opponents of the bill, including The Republican Party, Governor Gavin Newsom and the California Teachers Association, say the increased taxes could lead to an even higher cost of living for every Californian and would further strain an already struggling electricity grid. They also say that rideshare companies, most notably Lyft, would benefit from this bill, as they would not have to pay out of their own pocket to meet a demand that makes it mandated to have all-electric vehicles by a certain date. 

Voting “yes” would implement these new tax policies, while voting “no” would cause no change on taxes.