Portantino Bill Implementing Car Free Incentive Program Headed to Governor’s Desk

Wednesday, August 31 2022

For Immediate Release: August 31, 2022

Contact: Lerna Shirinian, (818) 409-0400


Portantino Bill Implementing Car Free Incentive Program Headed to Governor’s Desk

Sacramento, CA - Senate Bill 457, authored by State Senator Anthony J. Portantino (D – Burbank) creates a rebate program for each person without a car in a household.  It passed the Legislature and  is headed to the Governor’s desk for signature.  The bill is aimed at reducing California’s dependence on cars, providing more incentives for walking and bicycling, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  It was initiated and sponsored by Streets for All.

“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 $1,000 for each household member that has zero registered vehicles.  This would be a refundable tax credit for those low income folks getting the Earned Income Tax Credit and nonrefundable credits for households making less than 60K per year. SB 457 would take effect immediately.

"SB 457 will be a dramatic attempt to remedy the challenges of not owning a car in California.  Many, often low-income folks, do not own a car and that is a societally beneficial choice.  Not owning a car does not cause congestion, greenhouse gas emissions, and air pollution.  SB 457 incentives folks to not own a car, rewards them for that good behavior, and provides them money for alternative forms of transportation,” stated Marc Vukcevich, State Policy Advocate for Streets for All.