‘I just can’t keep up’: Residents weigh in on plan that could tax drivers per mile

Local

SAN DIEGO — Residents are weighing in on a $163 billion transportation plan that could include taxing drivers for every mile they use the roads.

The San Diego Association of Governments held a meeting Friday to discuss its transportation proposal that would include a 2- to 6-cent tax on drivers per mile.

Some residents said the plan will help the region while others think it will hurt.

“California is one of the third highest state to live in in the United States and I just can’t keep up,” said one caller during public comment. “I just don’t know how I can make a future for myself in San Diego when I get nickel and dimed left and right by local government and we just can’t pay for it all.”

However, SANDAG said the funding is needed because of decreased revenue from fuel taxes as more drivers opt for electric cars. The 30-year plan would slash greenhouse gas emissions and introduce everything from new public transit hubs to freeway improvements that ease commutes, according to SANDAG. Officials also say it will give a helping hand to low-income residents whose lack of transportation options limits their opportunities.

Transportation officials added its regional plan will address traffic congestion and create equal access to jobs, education, healthcare and other community resources. 

“I was unaware that this tax would be replacing the gas tax so that makes sense,” another caller said. “However, I’m still against it because the ability to enforce it is going to be a nightmare.”

SANDAG could charge drivers by tracking their miles through mechanisms such as transponders, smart phones or odometers.

“As the plan outlines now is the time to make strong immediate investments in transit like rail line build outs and increase in transit frequency, all while expanding our network of mass transit opportunities, including those opportunity passes,” one caller said. “We’re pleased to see the plan has gotten better and better and we stand united with our partners in urging you to implement strong immediate investments in transit, climate action, job creation and life line community connections.”

The proposal is set to go before the SANDAG board for a vote in December.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Most Popular Stories

Latest News

More News