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Elon Musk holds Twitter vote on selling 10% of his Tesla stock

World’s richest man says he’ll abide by results of poll asking if he should offload shares in his electric-vehicle company as the ‘only way for me to pay taxes personally’

Billionaire entrepreneur and founder of SpaceX Elon Musk speaks at the 68th International Astronautical Congress 2017, in Adelaide, Australia, on September 29, 2017. ( AFP PHOTO / PETER PARKS)
Billionaire entrepreneur and founder of SpaceX Elon Musk speaks at the 68th International Astronautical Congress 2017, in Adelaide, Australia, on September 29, 2017. ( AFP PHOTO / PETER PARKS)

NEW YORK — Tesla CEO Elon Musk is asking on Twitter whether he should sell 10% of his stock in the electric-vehicle company amid pressure in Washington to increase taxes on billionaires like him.

Some Democrats have been pushing for billionaires to pay taxes when the price of the stocks they hold goes up, even if they don’t sell any shares. It’s a concept called “unrealized gains,” and Musk is sitting on a lot of them with a net worth of roughly $300 billion.

“Much is made lately of unrealized gains being a means of tax avoidance, so I propose selling 10% of my Tesla stock,” he tweeted Saturday afternoon. “Do you support this?”

By Sunday morning, around halfway through the 24-hour-long poll, 56% had said yes out of a total of 2,598,570 votes.

Much of Musk’s wealth is held in shares of Tesla, which does not pay him a cash salary. “I only have stock, thus the only way for me to pay taxes personally is to sell stock,” he tweeted.

Musk, who is known for his sometimes flippant tweets, said he would “abide by the results of this poll.”

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