Elon Musk proposes to sell 10% of his Tesla shares in Twitter poll

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Billionaire Elon Musk on Saturday asked his Twitter followers to decide if he should sell 10% of his Tesla shares, promising to “comply with the results of this poll, however they do.”

“There has been a lot of talk lately about unrealized gains as a means of tax evasion, so I am proposing to sell 10% of my Tesla stock,” said the CEO of the electric car maker. He did not directly specify where that 10% would go.

This isn’t the first time Musk has aimed at proposals in Washington that would tax the net earnings of billionaires. Under current US tax law, assets like stocks are only taxed when sold – called a capital gain. But America’s richest rich are probably not selling their huge stock portfolios; instead, their primary form of income is the value these assets accumulate, or unrealized gains.

Musk last month criticized a Democratic proposal to institute a billionaire tax, launched to help fund a bill on social spending and expanding the safety net, saying it represented the start of a new campaign of the left to redistribute the wealth of the richest Americans.

“Eventually they don’t have any more money for other people and then they come looking for you,” he wrote on Twitter.

In a separate tweet, Musk said any government-induced reallocation of wealth would be best handled by the private sector.

“Who is better in terms of capital allocation – the government or the entrepreneurs – is indeed what it is”, he wrote on Twitter. “The crooks will confuse capital allocation with consumption.”

Musk’s net worth has swelled this year to $ 335 billion as Tesla stock has soared. He is by far the richest person in the Bloomberg Index which tracks the richest people in the world.

A White House analysis found that when unrealized gains are counted as income, billionaires pay an average of only 8.2% in income taxes.

Meanwhile, a new analysis led by economist Gabriel Zucman for The Washington Post indicated that Musk could face up to $ 50 billion in taxes in the first five years if a billionaire’s tax were to pass.



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