Prop 30: Why mayors of SJ, Oakland and Newsom are on opposite sides of the EV ballot measure

The proposition aims to raise taxes on the wealthy in order to fund wildfire management and electric vehicle infrastructure.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2022
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The mayors of Oakland and San Jose are speaking out on in favor of Proposition 30, a EV ballot measure opposed by Gov. Newsom.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- San Jose's mayor is the latest local politician to speak out on in favor of Proposition 30, pitting him and many others in the Democratic Party against Governor Newsom who opposes it.

The proposition aims to raise taxes on the wealthy in order to fund wildfire management and electric vehicle infrastructure.

RELATED: What is Prop 30? The income tax for electric vehicles measure explained

"I'm surprised the governor, is not supporting this," said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaff in an interview last Wednesday, "I respect him so much, we are differing on this one."

Proposition 30 would bring in funds toward electric vehicles and infrastructure for charging

It would also provide funds for wildfire prevention all by increasing the tax on people making more than $2 million a year by 1.75%.

"20% of Proposition 30, approximately $20 billion will go directly to CAL FIRE for staffing, fire suppression and fire prevention," said John Byrne representing CAL FIRE Local 2881.

One of the biggest financial contributors to Prop 30 is rideshare company Lyft who has poured millions into it.

Though Prop 30 has received backing from the California Democratic Party, it's also opposed by the California Republican Party and other groups.

RELATED: In push for zero emissions, California bans sales of new gasoline-powered cars by 2035

They say Lyft is trying to get taxpayers to help them meet a state mandate to eventually electrify their fleet.

At the signing of his CARE Court bill Wednesday, ABC7 News asked Newsom about his opposition to Prop 30.

"It's a big tax increase that disproportionately benefits, a few large corporations," Newsom said, "There was one large corporation, wonderful company, that's going to be one of the lion's share beneficiaries of raising everybody else's taxes to direct money in an area where we just passed the largest appropriation and the largest budget in U.S. history."

Tuesday in San Jose, another campaign for Prop 30 was kicked off at IBEW Local 322 Headquarters.

This time by local labor, environmental, fire safety leaders and another typical Newsom supporter, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, who this time differs with the governor.

ABC7 asked the mayor about Newsom's claims that this only benefits large corporations like Lyft.

RELATED: California leads the way in zero-emission transportation, but there are still challenges to overcome

He responded pointing to the fact that no Lyft representatives were at the press conference.

"I just wanted to ask, is anybody from Lyft here?" The mayor asked the crowd behind him sarcastically, "I don't think so."

Liccardo says that 60% of emissions in the City of San Jose come from vehicles.

Though he says he recognizes that some of the proposition would benefit corporations like Lyft.

"The fact that about 1% of benefit might go to them doesn't worry me too much if that means we all get to breathe cleaner air, we have fewer wildfires," Liccardo said.

If you're on the ABC7 News app, click here to watch live