San Diego Unveils Plan To Increase Tax and Toll Roads To Force Citizens Into Car Pooling “Submission”

San Diego County’s Regional Transportation Agency plans to convert 800 miles of highway roads into toll lanes, taxing residents in the county “into submission,” according to San Diego County Supervisor Jim Desmond.

On Thursday, January 26th, 2023, Desmond appeared on Varney & Co. and denounced the proposed plan as a “bait and switch” that will primarily impact low-income earners due to their frequent long-distance commutes for work.

To incentivize San Diegans to switch from cars to public transit, the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) has approved a plan that includes an increase in 3.5 cent sales tax, conversion of more than 800 miles of freeway lanes into toll roads, and a mileage tax for each mile driven. This groundbreaking initiative will vastly improve transportation in the county while reducing traffic congestion.

Desmond believes that technology is the key to making public transportation both safer and cleaner. However, California’s current plan fails to live up to its promise. Rather than welcome these advances in technology, the county has opted for a counterproductive method of increasing driving costs to urge citizens onto public transit before there are enough amenities built out.

The supervisor clarified that this plan will disproportionately affect those with lower incomes, as they will be required to allocate a more significant proportion of their salary towards transportation. Additionally, the supervisor pointed out how transit ridership has drastically declined in most areas since the onset of COVID-19, and San Diego County’s population density may not permit such an endeavor.

Desmond also took a swipe at Democrats, saying climate change has become their new religion. He acknowledged wanting clean water and air but noted that technological advancements will likely come in the next thirty years and should be embraced instead of broken promises and additional taxes. However, he failed to mention any alternative solutions to lessen the air pollution or lower the traffic problems in the county.

Desmond has been unwavering in his opposition to SANDAG’s plan, often describing it as a “war on cars.” He feels the proposed tax hikes will disproportionately hurt those who still depend heavily on their vehicles for transportation, such as service workers and plumbers. Furthermore, Desmond is concerned that these increases could particularly affect individuals who depend upon driving from job site to job site.

In a few short months, San Diego County citizens will have the chance to make their voices heard on the SANDAG plan. Desmond has taken it upon himself to reject this proposal vehemently and urges others in California to fight against what he considers an inequitable tax obligation. Though everyone is uncertain about how this situation will play out, speaking up now could shape its result for many years ahead.

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