Why You're Going To Pay Even Higher Taxes To Drive In San Diego

San Diego drivers already pay well over $1 per gallon in taxes and fees, but SANDAG wants even more. Their plan to charge for every mile you drive is gaining momentum and it’s likely that the state of California and the federal government will charge you as well.

97% of San Diegans drive a car, and as California residents they pay the highest gas tax in the nation. If a new SANDAG plan is approved they could end up paying an additional $.02 - .04 cents for every mile they drive.

SANDAG’s $163 billion dollar Regional Transportation Plan would be paid for by levying a variety of taxes, including a tax on every single mile driven.

In the future, the state of California and the federal government may add similar fees to each mile driven, in an attempt to fund regional transportation efforts that hope to counteract climate change. The plan’s opponents believe the plan also intends to force people out of their cars and into public transportation such as buses, trolleys and trains.

KUSI TV’s Dan Plante estimates that San Diegans already pay $1.19 per gallon in local, state and federal taxes and fees. Estimate based on a vehicle that gets 20 miles per gallon.

On Tuesday, Coronado Mayor Richard Bailey, and Supervisor Jim Desmond, who both oppose the plan, held a “virtual” town hall meeting to provide the public with an overview of SANDAG’s proposal.

Desmond provided a list of all the proposed taxes coming to San Diegans, most of which will be spent on public transit.

  1. Future Local Sales Tax Ballot Measure – half-cent measure (would require ballot measure)
  2. Future MTS Sales Tax Ballot Measure – half-center sales tax 2024 Presidential Election (would require ballot measure)
  3. Future State Mileage-Based Road User Fee – begin in 2026 that would charge $0.023 per mile with a half cent increase on an annual basis (would require legislation)
  4. Future Local Road User Charge - $0.02 per mile starting in 2026
  5. Future Ridehailing (UBER.LYFT) User Fee - $1.25 for single trips; $0.65 for pooled trips

NOTE: this article originally mentioned participation by San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria, which was incorrect and has been updated.

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