Mayor Rebecca Jones: We are awaiting response letter on SANDAG’s unpopular mileage tax

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.

San Marcos Mayor Rebecca Jones is strongly against the mileage tax, and joined KUSI’s Lauren Phinney on Good Morning San Diego to explain the efforts to make sure it never becomes a reality.

SANDAG Board Members opposed to the mileage tax sent the following letter to Board leadership:

September 13, 2022
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.

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

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