The vote ended with a “yes” victory. Of the 3.5 million votes cast, 57.9% supported selling shares in the company Musk founded.
The 10% stake in the electric car maker is valued at US$21 billion (R$116 billion).
“I will stick with the results of this survey no matter what happens,” the businessman wrote.
His move came in response to the “billionaire tax” proposed by the US Democrats.
The plan could mean that Musk, who tops Forbes’ ranking of billionaires and has an estimated fortune of $318.4 billion (1.76 trillion Brazilian reals), must deal with tax charges in the billions of dollars.
Under plans proposed in the United States by the Senate Democratic Party, billionaires could be taxed on “unrealized gains” on stocks when the price of bonds rose, even if they didn’t sell any of their shares.
The measure would be a way to combat alleged tax evasion by billionaires, who could borrow money and offer their shares as collateral rather than sell them, implying tax collection.
It is estimated that the proposed capital gains tax could amount to about 700 billionaires in the United States. Critics of the measure point out that the value of the papers does not always rise.
Most participants said Musk should sell Tesla shares – Image: Reuters via BBC
As part of the executive’s compensation plan in the past, Musk is entitled to a stock option, which expires in August of next year.
This option gives you the right to purchase 22.86 million shares of Tesla for a pre-fixed amount of $6.24 (R$34.5) per share.
That’s a fraction of Tesla’s most recent share price, on Friday (11/5), of $1,222 (R$6774).
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When exercising his right to buy, Musk will be required to pay taxes on the paperwork estimate. Fees will reach $15 billion, according to CNBC radio calculations.
Therefore, analysts note that he will have to sell shares in any case to pay the bill, as the businessman himself admitted.
Musk tweeted that he does not receive salaries or bonuses and that his only source of income is shares in his companies.
He posted: “I only own shares, so the only way to pay taxes in person is to sell the shares.”
Musk owns 170.49 million shares in Tesla. Selling 10% of that total means 17.049 million shares, which are worth $20.8 billion based on their current value.
Musk’s vote sparked reactions in the financial world.
Venture investor Chamath Palihapitiya wrote on Twitter: “We are seeing Twitter fans decide the outcome of the $25 billion coin lottery.”
Gabriel Zucman, an economist at Berkeley, posted on the same social network: “Looking forward to the day the world’s richest person pays some taxes isn’t based on a Twitter poll.”
This is the second time in just over a week that Musk has talked about selling Tesla stock.
After the director of the United Nations World Food Program said that a small part of the wealth of billionaires like Musk would solve the problem of hunger in the world, the businessman said that he would sell and donate $ 6 billion (33.2 billion Brazilian reais) worth of shares from Tesla. On the program, as long as the organization disclosed more information about how its money is spent.
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