Elon Musk Should Sell Tesla Shares, Twitter Followers Decide


Elon Musk, considered the richest man in the world, asked followers on his Twitter profile if he should sell 10% of his Tesla shares. Of the 3.5 million who voted over the weekend, 57.9% said yes.

“I was prepared to accept any result,” said the businessman, who regularly uses the social network to make unexpected announcements or surprising comments. He did not mention, however, when and how the operation will take place.

The eccentric founder of electric-vehicle maker Tesla seemed to point to a new proposal by Democrats, who want to raise taxes on the wealthy by taxing their shares, which are usually only taxed when they are sold. At the moment, the proposal appears to have been shelved.

“There’s been a lot of talk lately that unrealized profits are a way to avoid taxes, so I propose to sell 10% of my Tesla stock,” Musk tweeted on Saturday. “Do you agree?” he asked his followers, proposing to vote “yes” or “no”.

According to Bloomberg information, Musk owned as of June 10, 17% of Tesla’s outstanding shares, which are currently worth $208.37 billion (R$1.2 trillion). The businessman also received a large package of stock options and convertible shares as compensation.

With his stakes in other companies —Neuralink and, above all, SpaceX—, Musk has a fortune estimated by Bloomberg at more than $338 billion.

“Remember, I don’t get paid cash or bonuses,” Musk noted on Twitter over the weekend. “I only have shares, so the only way to personally pay taxes is to sell shares,” added the businessman.

Musk’s move is seen as a response to the so-called “billionaires tax” envisioned by US Democrats.

The new tax, which would reach some 700 billionaires nationwide, is an attempt to extract revenue from the richest to fund President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion spending package.

“Billionaires’ Income Tax would ensure that the richest paid taxes every year, as well as workers. No worker considers it right to pay their taxes and billionaires don’t,” Ron Wyden, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, told reporters Financial Times newspaper.

The plan would apply to taxpayers with more than $100 million (BRL 556 million) in annual income or more than $1 billion (BRL 5.56 billion) in assets for three consecutive years.

With information from AFP and Reuters


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