Tesla CEO Elon Musk has sold another 934,091 shares of the company, worth a hefty $1.01 billion, as a way to meet tax obligations related to the exercise of options to buy 2.1 million shares. But it’s just a drop in the bucket, as Mr. Musk’s offloading of Tesla stock has surpassed $10 billion overall. That’s roughly 10.1 million shares since the CEO asked Twitter users at the start of November whether or not he should dump 10 percent of his existing stake in the company following its big move to Texas.
Despite being boasting the 7th largest average income of any state, California also happens to have the highest taxation rate on wealthier individuals. Conversely, Texas imposes no state income tax or capital-gains tax on individuals rich or poor.
While Musk has previously explained that it was the enhanced scrutiny placed on the automaker during early COVID restrictions that ultimately pushed him to move the company to Austin, Texas, it’s assumed financial issues played a relevant factor. The CEO had started speaking critically of California prior to 2020’s government restrictions, going so far as to suggest he would eventually relocate its HQ to Nevada or Texas. He confirmed it would be the Lone Star State this October.
According to Bloomberg, Musk would need to dump about 17 million shares (roughly 1.7 percent of all outstanding Tesla stock) in order to reach the full 10 percent. All told, that would cut over $2 billion of his tax bill as a result of his move to Texas from California in 2020.
Tesla shares traded 0.6 [percent] higher as of 4:45 a.m. New York time Friday, before the start of regular trading. The carmaker announced earlier this week that its headquarters had officially moved to the factory it’s been building in Austin, Texas. Musk announced the company would move its home base out of California in October.
With a $284.1 billion fortune, Musk is richer than anyone else in the world, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. His wealth has surged by $128.1 billion this year as Tesla shares have soared 54 [percent].
Since November 8th, Elon has exercised options to buy 10.7 million shares while selling over 10 million Tesla shares for around $10.9 billion. He will retain the option to buy about 10 million more shares at $6.24 each, though the window closes in August of next year.
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