Matt Rodriguez of the No on 30 campaign argues that despite what proponents claim, the ballot initiative will harm Main Street enterprises
It seems straightforward enough: Proposition 30 would raise taxes on those making more than $2 million a year by 1.75% to fight wildfires and prepare California for a brave new environmental world.
But the motivation behind the ballot initiative and all its unintended consequences are anything but straightforward, points out Matt Rodriguez in this NFIB California podcast.
The 20% that would be dedicated to wildfires is the campaign’s “front-facing message,” he says. “They have put the vast majority of funding into electric vehicles and electric-vehicle subsidies. They have written into the ballot measure a prioritization of what they call ‘high-utilization vehicles.’ The types of cars Lyft uses on its roads … So, what they are trying to do is get their fleet swapped over with subsidies.”
Lyft and other companies have not been successful in getting subsidies out of the Air Resources Board, according to Rodriguez. “They have now written language in [the ballot initiative] that will now let them jump the line, and they are going to try and pass this and then go to the Air Resources Board and say, ‘Look, the very vehicles you need to switch over are the types of vehicles our drivers drive’ … so, a lot of this money is going to end up going into them because if they don’t switch their vehicles over, their drivers can’t be on the road by 2030.”
But, this only affects the rich. Right?
“It always sounds good to have a quote-unquote ‘wealth tax,” said Rodriguez. The challenge is, in California, the overwhelming amount of taxes are paid by those wealthy. Remember, this [Prop. 30] would raise the tax to 15.05%. That is enormous for a state tax. The concern that you have is that you’ll have some out-migration of wealthy folks in addition to the stock market hit that has been going on the last six to eight months.”
And that, according to Rodriguez, means severe state budget deficits and all the manifest problems it would create not only for small businesses but for millions of Californians. “It all sounds good until you say, tell that to the teacher who gets laid off … the home health-care worker for your mom and dad who can’t go anywhere because of budget cuts, how about public safety.” Revenue-raising and state spending, says Rodriguez, occur in an ecosystem not a vacuum.
Click the arrow below to listen to the NFIB California podcast with Matt Rodriguez. Click here to listen to all past NFIB California podcasts.