California’s absurd war on cars

If you don’t make enough money to afford a car, the state of California will pay you $1,000 per year for not having a car.

That’s the substance of Senate Bill 457 by Senator Anthony Portantino, D-Glendale. The bill was passed by the state legislature on the last day of the session and it’s now sitting on Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk.

“Besides being a source of climate pollution, single occupancy vehicles are also a leading cause of death, injuries and health problems,” Portantino said, as quoted in the bill analysis prepared for the legislature.

Some people might say single occupancy vehicles are a way to get to work and earn a living, enabling the government to collect taxes from paychecks, and also that they transform into quadruple occupancy vehicles that drive people to school, to doctor’s appointments and on trips to spend money at California businesses.

Portantino doesn’t acknowledge any need for a car in his argument in support of his bill. “SB 457 will incentivize mass mode shift toward sustainable transportation by allowing a credit against the ‘net tax’ in the amount of $1,000 for each household with zero registered vehicles,” he said, according to the bill analysis.

To qualify for the tax credit, which could be paid out as a tax refund check to eligible residents, a taxpayer would need an adjusted gross income of $40,000 or less if filing as an individual, $60,000 or less if filing jointly, as a head of household, or as a surviving spouse. Applicants for the credi