San Diego wants to tax people out of their cars and onto public transit

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The latest transportation plan from the San Diego County Regional Transportation Agency (SANDAG) is designed to make driving so expensive that you give up on public transportation. In addition to the current gas tax and registration fees, SANDAG’s plan adds three new half-cent sales tax increases, more than 800 miles of San Diego County highway lanes converted to toll roads, and a mileage tax for every mile driven to pay for their $165. billion public mass transit plan.

SANDAG’s new plan refuses to build the road improvements promised in their last plan but will continue to tax us until 2048 to pay for them.

SANDAG’s financial plan states, “Charging fees for the transportation infrastructure that people use—for example, charging users for every mile they drive on the highway—can change travel behavior.”

SAN DIEGO COUNTY OFFICIAL TORCHES FEDS, NEWSOM AS MIGRANTS LEAVE AT TRANSIT HUBS

It’s a bait and switch — highway dollars, gas tax dollars and registration fees promised for road improvements instead pay for expensive public mass transit projects that less than 3% of the public uses.

FILE – The downtown skyline is viewed from a hill overlooking Interstate 5 on July 23, 2016, in San Diego, California.

Who will this affect the most? The lowest incomes. The math is simple, those who earn less will pay a disproportionately higher percentage of their income to get where they need to go.

SANDAG, the self-proclaimed leader and champion of social equality punishes those in the lower income brackets first – and will hurt them the most.

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Government agendas should not be used to change behavior by taxing us into fixed-rail trains and buses. Instead of changing behavior, government entities should encourage technology and innovation.

Government should accept what most people already choose and make it cleaner, safer and more efficient. The people have spoken, they choose freedom of movement and not broken promises or additional taxes.

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California is a top state for many liberal ideas and soon politicians may propose a similar per-mile tax in other states.

When you hear that proposal, just remember, the government is no longer trying to do what is necessary, they are now trying to change your mind and behavior.

Jim Desmond is a San Diego County Supervisor representing the Fifth District.