Coronado Mayor Richard Bailey: SANDAG leaders are misleading CARB, the mileage tax is still part of the plan.

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – A handful of San Diego County leaders sent a letter to the chief counsel at the California Air Resources Board (CARB) regarding SANDAG’s controversial and unpopular pay-per-use mileage tax.

SANDAG’s Executive Director Hasan Ikhrata had promised that the tax would be removed from their infrastructure plan but now he says it is still a part of the plan.

Coronado Mayor Richard Bailey joined KUSI’s Logan Byrnes to explain how Ikhrata and other SANDAG leaders are misleading CARB.

Below is the complete letter that was sent.

Dear Chief Counsel Ellen Peter,
This is a follow up expressing concerns of recent conflicting actions by SANDAG staff and the SANDAG Board of Directors, putting at risk critical state and federal funding to the San Diego region. They continue to mislead CARB and jeopardize a working transportation system for all of San Diego.

The SANDAG CEO’s August 19 letter to CARB stated, “The Road Usage Charge (RUC) remains in the 2021 Regional Plan and the 2021 Plan remains a foundation for all future plans.. The SANDAG Board’s July 8, 2022, vote will not impact any of the implementation actions in the currently adopted plan.” After receipt of this letter, CARB approved the SANDAG 2021 Regional Transportation Plan.

The plan CARB approved is not the plan the SANDAG Board intends to implement.

Attached is a September 1, 2022 letter from SANDAG Board leadership to the CEO stating the intent of the Board is to amend the 2021 Regional Transportation Plan and remove the road usage charge from the plan.

This item will receive discussion and further action at the September 23, 2022 SANDAG Board hearing.

It’s also important to note that the 2021 RT assumed a one-half cent sales tax measure following the 2022 election with a 2023 base year of collection. The SANDAG Executive Committee denied the SANDAG Board an opportunity to directly place the tax measure on the 2022 November ballot. Instead, SANDAG relied on a citizen initiative to qualify the measure for voter consideration. That measure failed to qualify for the 2022 ballot, creating a $3.5 billion revenue shortage.
SANDAG’s 2021 RTP is unworkable because of budgetary risks, and it’s a bad plan because it does not benefit the majority of transportation users in the San Diego Region. Thank you again for your time and consideration.

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