Elon Musk floats Tesla sell-off: Frenzy as billionaire asks if he should flog 10% of stock

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The billionaire entrepreneur posted: ”Much is made lately of unrealized gains being a means of tax avoidance. “So I propose selling 10% of my Tesla stock.”

He added: “I will abide by the results of this poll, whichever way it goes”, before cryptically adding: “Abide(n)”, in an apparent reference to US President Joe Biden.

He then said: “Note, I do not take a cash salary or bonus from anywhere.

“I only have stock, thus the only way for me to pay taxes personally is to sell stock.”

In a stark illustration of Musk’s worldwide reach, within 40 minutes of the poll going live, 473,000 people had voted.

In addition, thousands piled in with comments about the idea.

Tom Wohlfarth said: “No, I do not support you selling 10% of your Tesla stock because your decision to sell Tesla should not be driven by some harebrained agenda of people who don’t understand or appreciate basic concepts of tax & finance or how capitalism works.”

Asha Jadeja Motwani argued: “Elon please HOLD. The planet need you to take those incredible risks that you were planning to take and what you have already accomplished.

“Taxes go in the hands of the government which is a black hole.”

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The comments from Musk comes after the proposal in the US congress to tax billionaires’ assets to help pay for Mr Biden’s social and climate-change agenda.

Musk is one of the world’s richest people and owner of several futuristic companies, including SpaceX and Neuralink.

He has previously criticised the billionaire tax on Twitter.

Last week, Hertz said it placed an initial order of 100,000 Teslas. Interim Hertz Chief Executive Mark Fields told Reuters the order will primarily be Model 3 vehicles.

The announcement, triggered a meteoric rally in the carmaker’s stock helping the company surpass $1 trillion in market value.

However, Tesla boss Elon Musk took to Twitter on Monday to say that his company had not signed a contract with Hertz, spurring a brief halt in Tesla’s stock rally.

In response to Musk’s comments, Hertz said in a statement that the deliveries of the Teslas had already started.

The statement, issued on Tuesday, said: “We are seeing very strong early demand for Teslas in our rental fleet, which reflects market demand for Tesla vehicles.”

The company has already started advertising its Tesla fleet on websites and in a series of YouTube commercials featuring National Football League (NFL) quarterback Tom Brady.

Shares of Tesla, which were up 2.3% at $1,242 in premarket trading, have rallied adding about $350 billion to its market value since October 20, when it reported robust third-quarter results.

(More to follow)

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