Elon Musk will sell 10% of Tesla stock after Twitter vote

It comes after the tech billionaire asked Twitter if they supported the poll

Elon Musk, the billionaire chief executive and co-founder of Tesla, will sell $21 billion of stock in the electric car maker, according to his Twitter account.

On Saturday, Mr Musk asked his 62.7 million followers on Twitter whether they supported him selling 10 per cent of his stock.

Mr Musk held about 170.5 million shares in Tesla as of June 30. Selling 10 per cent would result in proceeds of about $21bn, based on Friday's closing price. The company had a market value of $1.21 trillion as of Friday. It's share price is up more than 67 per cent year-to-date.

“Much is made lately of unrealised gains being a means of tax avoidance, so I propose selling 10 per cent of my Tesla stock,” he wrote. “Do you support this?"

Most Twitter users who responded did support it. More than 3.5 million people voted in the poll, with nearly 58 per cent voting in favour of Mr Musk selling his stock.

He later Tweeted that he would “abide by the results, whichever way it goes".

Mr Musk was calling into question the Democrats' “billionaires' tax”, which seeks contributions from America's most affluent by taxing their “tradable assets".

The proposed tax would help to fund US President Joe Biden’s ambitious social policy and climate change legislation.

It would only affect about 700 people, of whom Mr Musk would certainly be one.

According to Forbes, he is worth more than $300bn, making him the wealthiest person in the world.

Ron Wyden, a US senator from Oregon and chairman of the Senate finance committee, was the architect of the “Billionaires tax”.

“Whether or not the world’s wealthiest man pays any taxes at all shouldn’t depend on the results of a Twitter poll,” Mr Wyden tweeted. “It’s time for the billionaires' income tax.”

The tech billionaire has been a vocal critic of the bill. He tweeted he would rather use his wealth to help get “humanity to Mars and preserve the light of consciousness” than give it to the US government through taxes.

Mr Musk has also been in a heated debate with David Beasley, head of the World Food Programme, who challenged billionaires to end world hunger by giving just 0.36 per cent of their wealth in one-time donations.

Mr Musk pledged on Twitter to sell $6bn in Tesla stock and donate it to the WFP, provided the organisation disclosed more information about how it spends its money.

Updated: November 8th 2021, 7:49 AM
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