Borrego Sun - Since 1949

"Per-Mile Tax is a Nonstarter"


Last updated 7/13/2021 at 2:27pm

In 2004, SANDAG proposed a new sales tax to voters that would generate $14 billion dollars, which promised to relieve traffic congestion, improve safety, and match state/federal funds to improve the following freeways: I-5, I-8, I-15, SR 52, SR 54, SR 56, SR 67, SR 76, SR 78, SR 94, SR 125, I-805. And the measure promised improvements to public transit routes. Voters passed this under the impression their commute home would be made faster and easier.

This has not happened. Instead, SANDAG staff front-loaded public transit projects while leaving 14 of the highway projects unfunded. Now, they’ve announced that they want to implement a new transportation vision. One that doesn’t include roads and freeways, but focuses on transit, even though the current half-cent sales tax San Diegans are paying promised improvements to roads and freeways.

The latest proposal that will directly hit San Diegans’ wallets is a ‘road charge.’ If approved, San Diegans would be charged a set price for every mile traveled within the State of California. The money collected from vehicle drivers would then be used to pay for public transportation.

This insane proposal should never see the light of day. San Diegans already pay some of the highest prices to drive in the Country. From the current gas taxes to a vehicle registration tax, San Diegans feel the effects, in their wallets, every day. Adding another tax, to fund public transportation, is a slap in the face.

The message is clear from SANDAG and the State, they want to force you out of your car and on buses and trolleys. This new tax will be spent on downtown San Diego’s Grand Central Station, not for the promised road/freeway improvements promised years ago. It’s time for North County to say enough is enough - we should not be charged for every mile we drive. Instead, the projects that have been promised should be completed.

Jim Desmond

– San Diego County District 5 Supervisor

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