Tesla CEO Elon Musk has launched a poll on his Twitter account, asking followers to determine the future of 10% of his Tesla holdings.
On 7 November, he wrote a post, "Much is made lately of unrealised gains being a means of tax avoidance, so I propose selling 10% of my Tesla stock. Do you support this?" Musk added a poll function in the post, enabling users could to vote “Yes” or “No.” He also followed up with wrote another post about the poll saying that he will abide by the results of the poll whichever way it goes.
Musk has about 62.8 million followers on Twitter. When the poll closed, about 57.9% of voters said yes, while the remaining voters said no.
Musk also promised to respond in accordance to the result, in response to a "billionaires tax" proposed by US Democrats, but has not yet said anything publicly on the verdict. According to BBC, should he go ahead with the sale, he could be paying a huge tax bill.
Currently, Musk’s net worth is around US$338 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He owns 17.2% of Tesla’s shares, and selling 10% of his shares could result in an approximate US$21 billion.
Meanwhile, his tweet saw said Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat and chair of the Senate finance committee, the architect of the proposed billionaires tax calling the move a stunt saying “whether or not the world’s wealthiest man pays any taxes at all shouldn’t depend on the results of a Twitter poll.”
According to Guardian, Wyden has been pushing for billionaires to pay taxes when stock prices go up even if they do not sell shares, a concept called “unrealised gains”. This is said to affect about 700 super-rich Americans.
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