Thursday, February 29, 2024

Fonda’s New ‘Green’ Deal: Higher Taxes to Buy Green Cars

Actress and perennial environmental activist Jane Fonda has a new green deal for Californians — as in she wants their green money to subsidize the purchases of new green vehicles.

Fonda is backing Proposition 30, a November ballot measure that would impose a new 1.75 percent tax on homeowners with an annual income of $2 million and over to support zero-emission vehicle acquisition programs — and also fund wildfire response and prevention efforts.

If approved, prop. 30 would Increase state tax revenue between an estimated $3.5 billion to $5 billion annually.

Opponents of Prop. 30 argue the measure would only tax the wealthiest Californians.

Additionally, Prop. 30 would raise taxes by up to $90 billion for as long as 20 years, increasing costs for every Californian and severely strain the state’s struggling electricity grid already at risk of rolling blackouts.

“People who would choose to get rich and stay rich, as opposed to helping create a livable future, have to really seriously examine their priorities, ” Fonda said in an interview with CalMatters.

Fonda acknowledged her own taxes would be hiked if voters approve Prop. 30, but, amid trips to Michigan, New Mexico and Texas to campaign for candidates endorsed by the Jane Fonda Climate Political Action Committee, she said it’s important to elect leaders who “care about people and the planet and the environment and the future more than corporations.”

So far, Fonda’s PAC has contributed $60,800 to 29 California candidates at the federal, state, county and city levels, according to Ariel Hayes, the PAC’s executive director. Hayes said the PAC is still in the process of figuring out how much more it plans to invest before the Nov. 8 election.

By supporting Prop. 30, Fonda is siding with the California Democratic Party but breaking with California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who has sided with California Republican Party in urging voters to reject the measure. Newsom warns Prop. 30 could destabilize California’s budget, which heavily relies on taxes from high earners. That said, amid concerns of an upcoming recession, California’s tax revenues in September fell $2.8 billion below projections, putting the state’s reserves about $7 billion below projections from the most recent economic forecast, according to recent numbers supplied by the state’s Department of Finance.)

The PAC is just the latest climate endeavor for Fonda, 84, a two-time Academy Award-winning actress who announced earlier this year that she was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma, but, her “f—–g cancer diagnosis is not going to keep me from doing all that I can,” she said, adding in her CalMatters interview that the climate crisis makes her “so scared I can’t sleep.”

Fonda indicated that after the November midterm elections, her PAC plans to further focus on California and the Gulf states, where the oil industry holds significant influence.

“Nationally, people think that California is way ahead of the rest of the country. And in many ways it is true, it’s done some great things,” Fonda said. “While the Legislature here has passed some really exceptional bills this season, it also killed a bill that would have moved California to achieve a 55% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2030.”