San Diego plans to tax drivers with a new freeway toll

As California’s second-most populous county prepares to convert 800 miles of freeway roads into toll lanes, a local leader announces the plan that will tax residents “into submission.”

“They’re trying to force us into submission, into using mass transit,” San Diego County Supervisor Jim Desmond told Varney & Co. on Thursday Mass transit for the future, and it’s going to be buses and trains and things like that, and they want to tax us into submission.”

San Diego County’s Regional Transportation Agency (SANDAG) approved plans to add three new half-cent sales tax hikes, convert more than 800 miles of San Diego County’s freeway lanes to toll lanes, and impose a mileage tax on every mile driven “to stop driving.” expensive to make it so expensive that you forgo public transit,” Desmond previously wrote in a Fox News comment.

Rather than building proposed road improvements, Desmond says the move will continue to tax drivers through 2048.

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“Charging for the transportation infrastructure people use — for example, charging users for every kilometer they drive on the Autobahn — can change travel behavior,” says SANDAG’s balance sheet.

Cars drive on the San Diego Freeway

San Diego County is preparing to spend $165 billion to convert more than 800 miles of freeway roads into toll lanes and tax drivers for every kilometer. (Getty Images)

Desmond called the move a “bait and switch” that will only “harm people.”

“The people all [is] trying to protect: the service people, the plumbers, the landscapers and people like that who actually have to drive back and forth to get to work, and it’s going to penalize them,” Desmond told host Stuart Varney.

“Transit ridership has dropped across the country with COVID,” he continued, “and also with the fact that we just don’t have the density in San Diego County to support something like that.”

The San Diego County supervisor previously noted that low-income earners will feel the biggest impact of the toll road tax decision.

“Who will this affect the most? The low earners. The math is simple, those who earn less pay a disproportionate percentage of their income to get where they need to go,” Desmond wrote. “Government should take what most people are already choosing and make it cleaner, safer and more efficient. People have spoken, they are choosing freedom of movement and not broken promises or additional taxes.”

Desmond went on to label California as a leader for liberal ideas, claiming that climate change is “the new religion” for Democrats.

“We all want clean water, we all want clean air. But instead of adopting yesterday’s technologies with buses and trains, the technology will change five or ten times over the next 30 years,” said the district administrator.


“I think if we do what people are already doing, the people who are already driving, make it safer, cleaner and more efficient by coming out with new engines and fusions, then I think there’s a lot more potential for that clean technology to improve the climate and things like that,” Desmond continued, “instead of trying to put people on buses and trains.”

San Diego’s $165 billion highway initiative comes months after a California board pushed ahead with plans to have all new vehicles in the state run on electricity by 2035, an ambitious goal by America’s most populous state to phase out gas-powered cars and reduce CO2 -curb emissions.


Louis Casiano of FOX Business contributed to this report.

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