Elon Musk asked Twitter users if he should sell 10 percent of his Tesla stock, and a majority have responded to the poll with an emphatic yes.
As Lorde Edge – Musk’s latest name for his Twitter account – he had asked Twitter users on Nov 7 if he should sell his Tesla stock. “Much is made lately of unrealized gains being a means of tax avoidance, so I propose selling 10% of my Tesla stock. Do you support this?” read Musk’s tweet.
More than 3.5 million Twitter users responded to the tweet, with close to 58% asking Musk to go ahead and sell his stock and a little more than 42% answering in the negative.
“I will abide by the results of the poll, whichever way it goes,” Musk had followed up his poll tweet with another one, implying he was relying on users to decide for him.
Musk also clarified that tax avoidance was certainly not a reason behind the proposed sale in another tweet. “Note, I do not take a cash salary or bonus from anywhere. I only have stocks; thus, the only way for me to pay taxes personally is to sell stock.”
The entire incident began unfolding with Musk responding to a new tax plan introduced by Congressional Democrats to tax the ultra-wealthy on unrealized gains from assets such as stocks. The Billionaires’ Income Tax will aim to gather taxes from 700 billionaires in the US.
According to Bloomberg, the 190 million shares that Musk holds, translating to 17% of the electric car company’s total stock, are worth more than $200 billion. If we include stock options, this number rises to 23%. Most of Musk’s $300 billion net worth comes from the Tesla stocks he owns.
This isn’t the first time Musk has spoken on Twitter about selling part of his Tesla stock. Only a week ago, the 50-year-old billionaire offered the United Nations’ World Food Program $6 billion of his money through the sale of Tesla stock. However, he insisted that the UN should be more forthcoming on how it intends to spend the money. In the bigger scheme of things, Tesla has been doing quite well as a leading electric vehicle business. Company profits in the third quarter surged to a record $1.6 billion, and revenues grew to $13.8 billion, a 57 percent year-on-year growth.