Tesla owner Elon Musk says he will sell 10 per cent of his stock in the electric car company following a Twitter poll.
The billionaire told his 62.8 million followers that “Much is made lately of unrealized gains being a means of tax avoidance, so I propose selling 10 per cent of my Tesla stock”.
He then embedded a poll and asked if Twitter users supported this idea, receiving over 3.5m votes. The final results saw 57.9 per cent vote ‘yes’.
Before the results came through, Musk said “I will abide by the results of this poll, whichever way it goes”.
In a further tweet, he wrote: “Note, I do not take a cash salary or bonus from anywhere. I only have stock, thus the only way for me to pay taxes personally is to sell stock.”
The move was motivated by plans proposed to the Senate by the Democratic Party, which could see billionaires taxed on ‘unrealised gains’ when the value of their shares goes up, even if they don’t sell them.
Musk has a 23 per cent stake in Tesla, including share options. The company recently moved its headquarters to Texas from California, after heavily criticising the area’s coronavirus restrictions, labelling them ‘fascist’.
He also said California offered limited expansion possibilities, with high house prices leading to long commutes for employees.
In October, Tesla’s market valuation tipped over $1 trillion following an order of 100,000 cars from rental firm Hertz, making it only the fifth company to reach that milestone.