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Twitter users push Elon Musk to sell 10% of Tesla shares

, November 9, 2021, 0 Comments

Nearly 58% of more than 3.5 million Twitter users said the world’s richest person should go ahead and sell his stocks. It remains to be seen whether the Tesla CEO will stick to his pledge to “abide” by the poll results.

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Elon Musk posted the poll on Twitter amid growing pressure in Washington to raise taxes on billionaires

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said Sunday he was “prepared to accept” the results of a Twitter poll that urged him to sell 10% of his shares in the electric carmaker, amid proposals in the US to more heavily tax the super wealthy.

Out of the 3.5 million Twitter users who took part in the poll, a majority of 57.9 % voted in favor of Musk selling the stock.

If Musk goes ahead with selling the Tesla stocks it would earn the world’s richest person just under $21 billion (about €18 billion).

Why did Musk give Twitter the decision?

The eccentric billionaire, who is also the head of the private space company SpaceX, regularly takes to Twitter to make unexpected announcements or to make controversial comments.

In a poll posted Saturday, he asked users to vote “Yes” or “No” on whether he should sell the Tesla shares.

“I was prepared to accept either outcome,” he tweeted in the posts after the poll closed on Sunday.

The move came after Democrats in the US Congress continued to discuss plans to tax the super-rich for the shares they own in order to pay for President Joe Biden’s $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill. Stocks are only taxed at the moment they are sold.

“Much is made lately of unrealized gains being a means of tax avoidance, so I propose selling 10% of my Tesla stock,” he said on Twitter about the taxation plans.

But Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, who is responsible for what he has dubbed the “billionaires income tax,” suggested the US government would have the final word.

“Whether or not the world’s wealthiest man pays any taxes at all shouldn’t depend on the results of a Twitter poll,” said Wyden.

How rich is Elon Musk?

Bloomberg has estimated Musk’s wealth at $338 billion, with over $208 billion of that figure being present in Tesla stocks.

Tesla stocks went from about $130 at the start of 2020 to $1,222.09 as of Friday. The company is now valued at over $1 trillion as demand for electric cars continues to skyrocket.

“I do not take a cash salary or bonus from anywhere,” Musk tweeted. “I only have stock, thus the only way for me to pay taxes personally is to sell stock.”

The Tesla boss had earlier proposed to give Tesla share profit to the UN World Food Program, engaging in a heated debate with the program over how it plans to end world hunger.

Musk’s move comes as other Tesla shareholders like Elon’s brother, Kimbal Musk, and Gary Black from the Future Fund also sold their stocks.

jc/rs (Reuters, AFP)