Supporters praise initiative as means of fighting climate change; opponents warn it would hurt job creators
Advocates for electric vehicles called for support for Proposition 30, a statewide clean air initiative, during a briefing Thursday morning in De la Guerra Plaza.
Michael Chiacos, director of climate policy for the Community Environmental Council, described the initiative as an effort to help all Californians afford electric vehicles.
“We need EVs for working people, not just wealthy residents,” Mr. Chiacos said during the Santa Barbara talk, attended by a small audience.
He said the initiative will quicken the transition to “air-friendly EVs.”
Bill Baker, business manager at the International Brotherhood of Electric Workers 413, said Proposition 30 will create more charging stations for electric vehicles. “It will make EV chargers as common as gas pumps.”
Das Williams, the 1st District representative on the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors, said he has driven an electric vehicle for 10 years. “It’s one of the ways my family has been able to withstand these inflationary times because we’re not spending hundreds of dollars on gas.
“The barriers to people are the upfront cost and the charging. Both of those barriers are addressed meaningfully by Proposition 30,” Supervisor Williams said. “In that way, we can make sure electric vehicles are a boon for working class families and middle class families and clean our air and make it a better world.”
Mr. Williams stressed electric vehicles are a crucial part of fighting climate change.
Supporters of Proposition 30 say it would help millions of Californians to afford electric vehicles through rebates, grants and financial assistance, as well as create a statewide EV charging network. Proponents also say the proposition would reduce catastrophic wildfires by funding forest management and providing more firefighters and firefighting equipment.
Supporters say the measure would generate approximately $100 billion over 20 years for these programs by taxing Californians with a personal income of over $2 million a year.
The tax on that income would be 1.75%
But opponents of Proposition 30 warn the proposition would burden not just the wealthy but small business owners and job creators. They charge that the bill would mean billions in new taxes during a time of record-breaking inflation.
Opponents also say the proposition is almost nearly entirely funded by Lyft, which the opposition says is trying to get taxpayers to pay for the state’s requirement that rideshare vehicles must be EVs by 2030.