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Tesla shares have fallen after Elon Musk polled the public on whether or not he should sell some of his stock.
On 6 November, Musk asked: "Much is made lately of unrealized gains being a means of tax avoidance, so I propose selling 10% of my Tesla stock. Do you support this?"
He posed the question in response to the 'billionaires tax' proposed by US Democrats, which aims to target the richest people in the country.
The final results saw 57.9 percent of people saying he should flog the 10 percent of his stock, compared to the 42.1 percent who said he shouldn't.
Much is made lately of unrealized gains being a means of tax avoidance, so I propose selling 10% of my Tesla stock.
Do you support this?
- Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 6, 2021
In a follow-up tweet, Musk had also promised to 'abide by' the public poll, whatever the results were.
"I will abide by the results of this poll, whichever way it goes," he said, adding: "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."
According to the BBC, Tesla shares have now fallen by around 4.6 percent off the back of the tweet.
The outlet added that, if Musk - who has a 23 percent stake in Tesla - follows through on his word, he could dispose of nearly $21bn (£16bn) of stock.
However, he is yet to comment about the results of the poll - having only replied to a comment from US Democratic Senator Ron Wyden, who quote-tweeted Musk and said: "Whether or not the world's wealthiest man pays any taxes at all shouldn't depend on the results of a Twitter poll. It's time for the Billionaires Income Tax."
Musk then hit back: "Why does ur pp [profile picture] look like u just came?"
Why does ur pp look like u just came?
- Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 7, 2021
Russ Mould, director at AJ Bell Investment, told the BBC the situation was an 'open invitation for sellers to place a bet that the shares will fall', which would generate a profit for them if stock dropped in price.
Mould said: "Elon Musk doesn't like to do things in a conventional way and so holding a poll on Twitter about whether he should sell 10% of his stake in Tesla might seem crazy, but one could say it is normal behaviour for him."
BBC business reporter Lucy Hooker also speculated that Musk 'appears to be taking aim at a Democrat plan to ratchet up taxes on America's wealthiest' with the Twitter stunt.
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