Mayor Richard Bailey: SANDAG planning to bring back per-mile tax

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – In December 2021, SANDAG passed its regional transportation plan.

But in order to get enough votes, SANDAG officials were forced to withdrawal the most controversial part, the mileage tax. The mileage tax would tax San Diegans for every mile they drive, which obviously is very unpopular among residents.

But, this tax was the main source of funding for the ambitious $163 Regional Transportation Plan, the most expensive transportation plan in the world, so the supporters are forced to find a new funding mechanism.

Democrats who support the plan asked for six months to come up with a replacement funding mechanism, but its been about 9 months and nothing has been presented.

Since then, a group of SANDAG Board members and Supervisor Desmond sent a letter (below) to the California Air Resources Board (CARB) alerting them that the regional transportation plan may not be in compliant with state law.

Letter to CARB_FINAL

CARB responded to SANDAG, informing them that that the per-mile tax must stay in order to be compliant with state law.

Opponents to the plan, including Coronado Mayor Richard Bailey and other officials who signed the letter (above) believe CARB’s response is a major development as SANDAG must now either include the per-mile tax, or come up with a new plan altogether.

CARB’s letter to SANDAG Executive Director Hasan Ikhrata is below:

2022-08-18 SANDAG letter

In response, SANDAG’s Executive Director Hasan Ikhrata sent a letter to all Board members notifying them that it is his intention to move forward with the $163 Billion Regional Transportation Plan, with the mileage tax included to gain approval from the state.

Mayor Richard Bailey broke down the series of events that he says prove Ikhrata and supporters of the Regional Transportation Plan misled the public into believing the mileage tax was withdrawn on KUSI’s Good Evening San Diego.

RELATED STORY: Supervisor Desmond: SANDAG has no real plan to remove unpopular mileage tax

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