NBC Bay Area, Proponents of Clean Cars and Clean Air Act Target November Ballot

Tax the rich to save the planet.

That’s the sell from proponents of a California initiative you could be voting on this year.

To help prevent wildfires, cut down the number of smoky days, and build more electric vehicle infrastructure, activists say the Clean Cars and Clean Air Act is needed.

“It tackles pollution issues, and our two biggest sources of pollution in the state are transportation and wildfires,” said Mary Creasman, CEO of California Environmental Voters. 

If passed, it would increase taxes by 1.75% on individuals or couples making more than $2 million per year. So they would pay at least an extra $35,000 each year for up to 20 years.

Organizers say it could generate $4 billion or more, divided in three different ways:

  • 45% would fund rebates and other incentives for new zero-emission and electric vehicle purchases
  • 35% for EV charging stations and half of that would go to low-income communities
  • 20% on wildfire prevention and suppression programs with priority given to hiring and training firefighters

“It was the U.N. panel on climate change that said, look, we need our governments, we need our leaders to be acting quicker with more urgency because the truth is we have until 2030 to make massive changes to our infrastructure and economy to avoid the worst,” Creasman said.  

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