Tesla founder Elon Musk noted Tuesday the electric car maker would contribute a massive sum in federal tax revenue in the coming years amid an ongoing dispute over a Democrat-led push to increase taxes on the wealthiest Americans.
Musk commented on the company’s federal tax contributions in response to a Twitter thread breaking down tax payments the billionaire will owe based on his stock-based compensation plan. Dogecoin creator Billy Markus, who tweets under the pseudonym Shibetoshi Nakamoto, noted Musk’s personal contributions would be in addition to Tesla’s federal tax bill.
"Over time, Tesla will generate hundreds of billions for the government in terms of employee income tax, product sales tax and property tax, in addition to profit taxation," Musk tweeted in response.
Federal tax policy has been a subject of constant debate in recent months, with left-leaning lawmakers ranging from President Biden to Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., arguing for higher taxes on corporations and the wealthiest Americans. Several Democrats have called for the creation of a "billionaires’ tax" on unrealized investment gains, though that provision is not expected to be included in Biden’s sweeping social spending bill.
Musk sparred with Sanders last weekend. The Vermont senator tweeted that lawmakers "must demand that the extremely wealthy pay their fair share." In response, Musk said, "I keep forgetting that you’re still alive."
On Nov. 6, Musk polled his Twitter followers on whether he should sell 10% of his Tesla stock amid the ongoing debate over "unrealized gains being a means of tax avoidance."
Musk has sold nearly $8 billion worth of his Tesla shares this month. He has indicated he will use some of his proceeds to cover his tax bill from exercised stock options that would otherwise expire.