Tesla CEO and the wealthiest person on the planet Elon Musk tweeted a poll Saturday asking his followers if he should sell 10% of his stock in the automaker to pay more taxes.
He tweeted that he proposed selling 10% of his Tesla stock as a way to avoid tax. In a follow-up tweet, he stated that he would abide by the poll's results, regardless of how they turn out.
I will follow the poll results, no matter what Elon Musk (@elonmusk), November 6, 2021
Musk was vocal in his opposition to a proposal that tax unrealized gains on publicly traded assets of the richest Americans. Senator Ron Wyden (D. Oregon) proposed that assets increase in value and the person would be subject to taxes on any unrealized gains. The tax loophole that allows billionaires to defer capital gains taxes indefinitely would be closed. However, they could still borrow against their wealth.
Musk tweeted that eventually they run out money from other people and then they come after you in October in response to concerns expressed about the proposal.
Wyden tweeted on Saturday in response to Musk's idea: The results of a Twitter Poll shouldn't determine whether or not the worlds richest man pays any taxes. It is time for the Billionaires Income tax.
Musk had also suggested selling some Tesla stock on Saturday. At Code Conference in September, Musk stated to Kara Swisher that he intended to sell large amounts of his Tesla stock options before the expire. Musk said that he has a lot of stock options that expire in the first quarter of next year. This is a large block of options that he plans to sell in Q4.
Swisher asked him if he was surprised at how Tesla's stock price had risen. I've stated publicly that I believe Teslas stock price is too high. Musk later added. What can I do? I'm not the one who makes it go up.
Jesse Eisinger, a ProPublica journalist, pointed out that Musks Saturday thread's third tweet was a Tweet. Note: I don't take any cash bonus or salary. Since I have only stock, the only way to pay taxes is to sell it. This was confirmed by news sites that reported on the ways the ultra-wealthy avoid income taxes.
Please note that I don't accept any cash bonus or salary from anyone. Stock is all I have, so the only way to pay taxes for me personally is to sell it. Elon Musk (@elonmusk), November 6, 2021
We are grateful for your confirmation of our story. Eisinger tweeted that taxes for ultra-rich incomes are essentially voluntary. He also noted that Musk had previously called the story misleading.
Only a few hours remained in Musks Twitter poll on Sunday. If Musk makes any further comments, we will update this post.