The San Diego Association of Governments’ Board of Directors voted 15-4 to remove a controversial mileage tax in San Diego from SANDAG’s 2025 Regional Plan. This tax had previously been excluded in the 2021 Regional Transportation Plan, leaving uncertainty about funding the $165 billion plan.
Removal of Controversial Mileage Tax in San Diego from SANDAG’s 2025 Regional Plan
According to NBC 7 San Diego, the San Diego Association of Governments’ (SANDAG) Board of Directors has voted decisively, with a 15-4 majority, to eliminate a contentious Regional Road User Charge, often referred to as a mileage tax in San Diego, from SANDAG’s 2025 Regional Plan. This move marks a significant shift in the agency’s transportation planning, as the mileage tax in San Diego had been a source of considerable debate and public opposition.
The proposed plan sought to impose a 4-cent-per-mile tax on San Diego drivers starting in 2030, with estimated revenue potential exceeding $34 billion by 2050. Nevertheless, the agency’s chief economist, Ray Major, recognized that these revenue projections might change during the proposal’s refinement for the 2030 implementation.
The mileage tax in San Diego faced significant opposition, with residents arguing it clashed with American principles of freedom and disproportionately burdened the majority of the region’s inhabitants.
Opposition and Conflicting Views Surrounding the Mileage Tax in San Diego
According to Yahoo News, the debate over the mileage tax in San Diego has generated strong opinions and conflicting viewpoints among local officials and residents. While some, like El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells, celebrated the removal of the tax, calling it regressive and against principles of American freedom, others, such as San Diego County Supervisor Chairwoman Nora Vargas, suggested that much of the concern stemmed from misinformation.
Vargas emphasized that the state would have the final say in implementing such a tax and that voter approval would be required. The controversy surrounding the mileage tax in San Diego has showcased the diversity of perspectives within the region’s communities and the challenges of implementing such policies.