SACRAMENTO: California is poised to adopt an original solution to encourage motorists to give up their cars for good while promoting public transport and so-called soft mobility.
The state is planning to pay US$1,000 (RM4,523) a year to all residents on lower incomes who do not own a car.
This bill is causing a serious stir in the land where the car is king. From 2023, the idea is to “reward” households without a car by granting them a tax credit of US$1,000 per year for up to five years, or US$5000 (around RM23,000) in total. This will only apply to low-income households, earning under US$40,000 (RM181,000) for a single person or $60,000 (RM272,000) for a couple.
The financial incentive is intended to encourage the use of public transport, like buses and trains, which are well-developed in the state’s large metropolises and their surroundings, such as Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego.
The initiative can also serve to promote the rise of greener mobility options, such as electric scooters and e-bikes, for example.
The bill is now awaiting the signature of the governor, Democrat Gavin Newsom, who already supports banning sales of combustion engine vehicles in the state by 2035. Note that scrapping a gasoline-powered vehicle can also earn Californians an additional US$1,500 (RM6,785), under a program already in place.
This initiative comes in a state that is particularly vulnerable to climate change, where each year huge fires destroy nature, homes and everything else in their path.
Keyword: California could give US$1,000 to residents who don't own a car>