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Elon Musk Sinks Tesla Shares With Contentious Twitter Poll

The Tesla founder polled his followers about whether or not he should sell his shares in the company.


Elon Musk is often accused of market manipulation due to his Twitter antics, sometimes sending valuations of different crypto coins plummeting or skyrocketing.

Bloomberg | Getty Images

This time, however, he managed to sink shares of his own company.

The billionaire riled up his 62.8 million Twitter followers after posting a poll about whether or not he should sell his shares in Tesla, the company he founded.

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"Much is made lately of unrealized gains being a means of tax avoidance, so I propose selling 10% of my Tesla stock," he wrote on the social media platform. "Do you support this?"

3,519,252 people voted in a somewhat close draw, with 57.9% of voters saying yes and 42.1% saying no.

"I will abide by the results of this poll, whichever way it goes," Musk continued.

The question and its subsequent results brought Tesla stock down over 5% in pre market trading on Monday morning.

Musk noted in a follow-up Tweet that he does "not take a cash salary or bonus from anywhere" and that in only owning stock, he can only pay personal taxes by selling said stock.

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The poll comes following a new tax proposal by Oregon senator Ron Wyden (which has since been dropped) that would have all U.S. billionaires taxed on their investments, a plan that Musk has openly opposed.

"The Billionaires Income Tax would ensure billionaires pay tax every year, just like working Americans," Wyden said last month. "We have a historic opportunity with the Billionaires Income Tax to restore fairness to our tax code and fund critical investments in American families."

Wyden himself reacted to Musk's Tweet, reposting it and adding his own commentary.

"Whether or not the world's wealthiest man pays any taxes at all shouldn't depend on the results of a Twitter poll," he wrote. "It's time for the Billionaires Income Tax."

Musk currently owns around 20.7% of all Tesla stock (193.3 million shares). His net worth was around $310.3 billion as of late Monday morning.

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