Ta-ta for now, RUC. Farewell for a bit, Road Usage Charge.
SANDAG Board of Directors voted to -- at least for now - remove the Road Usage Charge (RUC) from the 2021 Regional Plan. In a 14-3 vote, the Board majority voted at their meeting on September 23, 2022 to scuttle the Road Usage Tax. With four options before them, the Board majority chose Option 2, which directs staff to prepare a focused amendment within one year (see details in photo below.)
The effort for the RUC removal was led by City of San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria who stated, “I cannot support the concept of charging people to drive when we don’t have viable transit or other alternatives to offer those who are already struggling with high rents, high utility rates and everything else.”
Is SANDAG committed to RUC removal for the long-term, or is this an election-year, feel-good tactic?
It may prove to be a moot point, since staff has one year to return with the amendment -- but by then, the new transportation study and road usage data should be available in 2023 (which will be the basis for forecasting used in the upcoming 2025 Regional Plan.) If you're a betting person, odds are this isn't the last we've seen of RUC - not for the region, and especially not for California as a state.