Prop 30: California voters reject Lyft-backed taxes and transportation measure

California voters on Tuesday rejected Proposition 30, a ballot measure over who should pay for the transition to electric vehicles.

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.

Gov. Gavin Newsom branded Prop 30 as a money grab by Lyft. State regulators have mandated that all rideshare trips be zero-emission by 2030. 

Supporters reject that characterization, saying that Lyft got involved after environmental groups were already discussing a ballot measure.

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.