California Will Pay People To Not Own A Car

Estimated read time 3 min read

No, this isn’t a joke, probably.

Everyone lately has been talking about California’s ban on internal combustion engines for cars, the notorious EV mandate. While it’s shocking to hear about that and the many other states following suit, hardly anyone is talking about another shocking development in the Golden State’s war against emissions. As The Washington Post recently reported, officials in California will start paying citizens to not own a car since the belief is this will eliminate pollution.

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Under a bill which passed earlier in the month, low-income residents who don’t own a car will receive $1,000 as a refundable tax credit. To qualify, a single tax filer has to earn $40,000 or less. Joint filers can make up to $60,000.

Surely the California legislature thinks this will be a boon for public transportation in the state. The reality is ever since the population explosion in California, buses, trains, etc. have struggled to keep up. You can blame it on whatever set of factors you’d like, but paying people to not own a car won’t fix this.

If you’ve spent significant time in the Los Angeles area, where plenty of Californians live and work, you know getting along without riding in a car is pretty much impossible. Notice I said without “riding in a car.” If this plan pays people to not own a vehicle, that doesn’t mean they won’t use a ride sharing service or something else to be transported around in a car. So the reality is no emissions are cut, just people are receiving taxpayer dollars for not owning a vehicle, even though they’re still using them.

What’s more, this measure penalizes people who absolutely have to maintain a private vehicle for employments purposes. Of course it’s not surprising considering California has taken to penalizing anyone who owns a car, house, business, and pretty much anything else. Every time I turn around I hear about some new requirement for registrations, an extra fee, or some other red tape people need to deal with just to get around in the state.

It’s a good thing California will be mandating everyone can only buy new electric cars in short order, considering that abundant, “green” electricity which is always keeping the lights on. My prediction is the mismanagement of California will be a topic of study for many public administration and public policy academic programs for decades to come.

Source: The Washington Post

Images via Daniel Semenov, Andrew Scozzari

Steven Symes

Steven Symes is an accomplished automotive journalist with a passion for all things related to cars. His extensive knowledge and love for the automotive world shine through in his writing, which covers a diverse range of topics.

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