A new California bill awaiting Gov. Gavin Newsom’s signature would offer qualifying taxpayers with no car a $1,000 tax credit. The bill passed the state’s legislature on Wednesday.
The credit would kick in for the 2023 tax year and would last through the 2027 tax year.
To qualify, spouses filing joint returns and heads of household must have an adjusted gross income of $60,000 or less. Individuals must have an adjusted gross income of $40,000 or less.
Senate Bill 457’s stated purpose is “to meet California’s ambitious climate goals and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from personal vehicles,” and “to incentivize qualified taxpayers to give up a vehicle or reward people for not using a vehicle in order to help the environment and create healthier communities,” according to the text of the bill.
“It’s time we more aggressively commit to implementing modes of sustainable transportation. SB 457 is an important step towards that goal. We can invest in the future by providing financial incentives for Californians to transition from vehicles to more sustainable options,” State Sen. Anthony J. Portantino, who introduced the bill, said in a statement.
Anti-car advocate Marc Vukcevich said in the senator’s statement that “Many, often low-income folks, do not own a car and that is a societally beneficial choice. … SB 457 incentives folks to not own a car, rewards them for that good behavior, and provides them money for alternative forms of transportation.”
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The only group to formally oppose SB 457 was the California Teacher’s Association over funding concerns.
“While we understand these bills are well intended, CTA does not support this approach, as it would reduce overall funding for education. … CTA believes that Prop 98 should be protected from reductions through the creation of new or expanding existing tax expenditures,” the Senate floor analysis of the bill states. Prop 98 is an annual increase in education allocation within the state budget.