Portantino Bill Set to Implement Car Free Incentive Program

Monday, June 6 2022

For Immediate Release: June 6, 2022

Contact: Lerna Shirinian, (818) 409-0400


Portantino Bill Set to Implement Car Free Incentive Program

Sacramento, CA - Senate Bill 457, authored by State Senator Anthony J. Portantino (D – La Cañada Flintridge) creates a rebate program for each person without a car in a household.  It is currently awaiting action in the Assembly.  The bill is aimed at reducing California’s dependence on cars, providing more incentives for walking and bicycling, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“As the impacts of climate change are felt across our state, it’s time we more aggressively commit to implementing modes of sustainable transportation,” stated Senator Portantino.  “SB 457 is an important step towards that goal. We can invest in the future by providing financial incentives for Californians to transition from vehicles to more sustainable options.”

Single occupancy vehicles remain the number one contributor to greenhouse gasses. The United States Environmental Protection Agency reports that a typical passenger vehicle emits about 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. Studies show that exposure to particulate matter (PM) from cars, trucks, and buses is not equally distributed across the state. The lowest-income households in the California live where PM pollution is 10 percent higher than the state average, while those with the highest incomes live where PM pollution is 13 percent below the state average.

With 26.87 million registered automobiles in the state, California has implemented policies designed to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions. Among those initiatives, an income tax credit in the amount of 20% of the vehicle cost is available to individuals who purchase or lease a new zero emissions vehicle. However, evidence shows that electric cars still emit PM particles.

SB 457 would allow a credit - for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2023 - against the “net tax”, in an amount of $2,500 for each household member that exceeds the number of registered vehicles. The bill would limit the amount of the credit allowed to $7,500 and would take effect immediately as a tax levy. 

“Streets for All is a proud sponsor of SB 457 which creates a $2500 tax rebate for each person without a car in a household,” Bubba Fish, Legislative Advocate at Streets for All.  “Single occupancy vehicles remain the number one contributor to greenhouse gases in California and the leading cause of death to children in the country. Car owners were recently given up to $800 in subsidies and similar tax rebates already exist for those who purchase a zero emissions vehicle. But SB 457 invests in the future by encouraging Californians to use public transit, cycling, scootering, walking, and other sustainable modes to get around. It is beyond time to support families who choose the safest, most sustainable option, not owning a vehicle at all."