SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Low-income California residents who live without a car will be eligible for a $1,000 refund under a new bill passed by the California Legislature Wednesday. Designed to promote the use of alternative forms of transportation like bicycling, Senate Bill 457 would provide a rebate for each household resident who does not own a personal vehicle.
“As the impacts of climate change are felt across our state, it’s time we more aggressively commit to implementing modes of sustainable transportation,” SB 457 author and State Senator Anthony Portantino, D-Burbank, said in a statement. “We can invest in the future by providing financial incentives for Californians to transition from vehicles to more sustainable options.”
If signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom as expected, SB 457 would create a credit that takes effect with the 2023 tax year, allowing each household member who does not have a registered vehicle to receive a $1,000 tax credit.
To qualify, single filers must earn less than $40,000 per year. Joint filers cannot earn more than $60,000 annually.
Even with California’s recent adoption of a road map requiring all new passenger vehicles sold in the state to be zero emissions by 2035, gas-powered vehicles are expected to continue operating on state roads for decades. Single-occupancy vehicles are the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming.
“SB 457 will be a dramatic attempt to remedy the challenges of not owning a car in California. Many, often low-income folks, do not own a car and that is a societally beneficial choice,” Streets for All State Policy Advocate Marc Vukcevich said in a statement.
“Not owning a car does not cause congestion, greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. SB 457 incentivizes folks to not own a car, rewards them for that good behavior and provides them money for alternative forms of transportation.”