Elected Officials Around San Diego County Criticize SANDAG $160 Billion Transportation Plan

Written by William Hekman

SANDAG is attempting to pass a $160 billion transportation plan with a series of new charges and taxes. The biggest tax being the four-cent-per-mile tax they plan to implement. The tax is supposed to fund new transportation infrastructure that will help San Diego County fight climate change. The vote for this plan is slated for December 10th. 

However, there has been backlash to the plan from local politicians all around San Diego county. County Supervisor Jim Desmond was one of the first officials to sound the alarm and has criticized the plan as trying to tax San Diegans out of using their cars, “The message is clear from SANDAG, they want to force all San Diegans out of their cars and on buses/trolleys, and they will dot it by making driving unaffordable.” Desmond also said that the only people who benefit from this are the unions and politicians, “The unions are trying to pass the tax, the union leaders are going to reap all the benefit, and the politicians who are paid off by the unions are gonna win as well. This is not a win for San Diego county residents”.

Two prominent mayors in San Diego County are also voicing their opposition. El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells highlighted other taxes that are part of the plan on top of already existing county and state taxes. He said that the tax proposed is a regressive tax, a tax that will hurt those who do not earn much, “Everything about this is tyrannical, it’s an overstep of government, and it’s wrong” said Mayor Wells on KUSI. Coronado Mayor Richard Bailey went through the entire list of taxes proposed by SANDAG and said the real cost of the project will be over budget, “If any of you have been following SANDAG over the years, you know that rarely do we come in under budget”. Bailey also went through all the taxes proposed by SANDAG such as tax on hailing Ubers and Lyfts, “Everytime you hail an Uber or Lyft, SANDAG is going to be charging an additional $1.25 fee just for the privilege of hailing an Uber or Lyft.”  

The SANDAG transportation plan will not only make things more expensive, but will not change the transportation habits of people in the county. 

Photo Cred: CBS 8