Californians could get a tax credit for not owning cars

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A bill proposed by California State Senator Anthony Portantino (D – La Cañada/Flintridge) and sponsored by Streets for All would provide a tax credit of $2,500 per person to taxpayers who do not own a car or whose households have fewer cars than people. According to an article by Melanie Curry in Streetsblog California, “It’s a boost for the people who need it most – those who can’t afford a car – as well as an incentive for everyone to reduce addiction to towards cars.”

With the transportation sector being the largest contributor to the state’s greenhouse gas emissions, “California is investing a lot of money to help drivers switch to electric vehicles, through direct incentives to car buyers, the infrastructure building and tax breaks for owners of electric cars. But according to the state’s Air Resources Board, “California will have to drive less, period.”

As Curry notes, “better public transport and safer cycling and walking infrastructure will be badly needed. But millions of Californians get by without owning a car, either because they can’t afford one or because they don’t want to burden the environment any further. This bill would reward people who live without a car or “light car” and encourage more people to do so.


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