Funded by the ride-share company Lyft, the measure would have increased the tax by 1.75% on income earned over $2 million per year, arguing that more money is needed to engineer the state’s shift to cleaner energy. Lyft has funded almost all the $47.8 million backing the ballot measure, which was originally proposed by environmental groups.
Prop 30 would have generated up to $5 billion in new tax money each year, and most of that money would have gone to programs that help people buy electric cars and install charging stations. A smaller amount would have gone to wildfire prevention response and prevention programs.
Business groups note that California's personal income tax is already the highest in the nation, and the ballot measure would put it over 15% for the highest earners.
Environmental and health group backers say California needs dedicated funding to speed the transition away from gas-powered cars and help lower planet-warming emissions. Transportation accounts for 40% of California's greenhouse gas emissions, and increasingly deadly wildfires are another major source of carbon.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.