Elon Musk is nothing if not eccentric. While most of us aren’t one of the richest people in the world, we generally take financial guidance from experts, carefully follow rules set out by regulators and spend hours agonizing on how best to keep what money we do have sitting in the proper places so as to maximize our wealth, such as it may be. Elon, on the other hand, asks Twitter.
Much is made lately of unrealized gains being a means of tax avoidance, so I propose selling 10% of my Tesla stock.
Do you support this?— Elon Musk (@elonmusk)
November 6, 2021
Musk followed up the Twitter poll asking whether he should sell 10% of his Tesla stock by stating that he “will abide by the results of this poll, whichever way it goes,” and adding, “Note, 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.”
Elon has 62.7 million followers on Twitter (as of the day this was published), and the results currently sit at 57.3% in favor of selling the stock, with a total of over 3.2 million votes so far. There are three hours left and a lot of followers who haven’t voted, so the results could change. Either way, 10% of Elon’s stock in Tesla is worth about $21 billion.
Besides just being a strange way to decide if he should cash out more money than the combined wealth of a huge percentage of the population of the United States, the tax implications to the U.S. coffers are massive. Not surprisingly, the tweet garnered attention from many directions, including that of Oregon Democratic Senator Ron Wyden.
Whether or not the world’s wealthiest man pays any taxes at all shouldn’t depend on the results of a Twitter poll. It’s time for the Billionaires Income Tax. https://t.co/KFHw3VZ45H— Ron Wyden (@RonWyden)
November 6, 2021