Musk, the world’s richest person, took to the social media platform on Nov. 6 to pitch a poll with his 63.1 million followers in response to a “billionaires’ tax” proposed by Senate Democrats.
The proposed legislation, unveiled in late October, would require roughly 200 U.S. companies to pay a minimum 15 percent tax rate and aims to prevent the largest and most profitable company’s across America from avoiding having to pay taxes.
Specifically, the bill would ensure that companies making more than $1 billion in profits annually pay the 15 percent minimum tax rate on those profits.
Lawmakers believe it will create a more even playing field and fair tax system and generate “hundreds of billions in revenue” over the next 10 years, which can be reinvested into the U.S. economy and give it a much-needed competitive boost
“Much is made lately of unrealized gains being a means of tax avoidance, so I propose selling 10% of my Tesla stock,” Musk wrote on Twitter, adding, “Do you support this?”
“I will abide by the results of this poll, whichever way it goes,” Musk said, before informing his Twitter followers, “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.”
Approximately 57.9 percent of Musk’s Twitter followers said they supported him in selling off 10 percent of his company’s stocks, while 42.1 percent said they did not.
As of June 30, Musk’s shareholding in Tesla came to about 170.5 million shares and selling 10 percent would amount to close to $21 billion based on Friday’s closing, according to Reuters calculations.
However, the Twitter poll has resulted in Musk losing $50 billion so far this week after Tesla shares plunged for the second day in a row, according to Bloomberg.
As of Wednesday, Tesla (TSLA) shares were down 11.99 percent and trading at $1,023.50
The drop marks the biggest two-day decline in the history of the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, and the highest 24-hour fall following Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’s $36 billion plunge after his divorce from MacKenzie Scott in 2019.
Tesla’s share loss may have all been attributed to news that his brother Kimbal, who is a Tesla board member, sold 88,500 Tesla shares Friday before Musk’s Twitter poll went live, as per The Los Angeles Times.
The automaker’s decline in shares means Musk’s lead over Bezos as the world’s richest person has narrowed to $83 billion, as per Bloomberg. Musk passed the Amazon.com Inc. founder for the first time in January. Bezos had initially topped Forbes’s list of the wealthiest people in the United States earlier in October.
By Katabella Roberts
Katabella Roberts is a reporter currently based in Turkey. She covers news and business for The Epoch Times, focusing primarily on the United States.