A plan to fix California's roads by raising the state's gas tax, raising registration fees and adding a $100 charge on emission-free vehicles did not sit well with some San Diegan drivers, who had harsh words about a possible tax increase.
"We're already paying highest tax in the nation," said Charles Langley, Executive Director of Public Watchdogs. "Now we're going to make it higher. What guarantee do we have these taxes are going to be used wisely?"
The 10-year plan, first reported on Wednesday, would boost gasoline excise taxes by 12 cents a gallon -- a 43 percent increase.
The plan also includes a sliding fee on vehicles, with owners of cheaper vehicles paying less. For the first time, owners of zero emission vehicles would pay a $100 annual fee, since they use public roads but don't pay gasoline taxes.
But some San Diegan drivers were hesitant.
"What have we been paying for in years past?" asked Shaunti Richardson, a driver.
Richardson was upset to learn of the plan because she has not seen improvements in years past, despite paying taxes.
"I don't see any improvement," said Richardson. "So where's that money going? Look at streets now."
In a news release about the plan, Gov. Jerry Brown's office called it "a landmark road repair and transportation investment package" that would fix roads, freeways and bridges, with other money spent on mass transit.
Assemblymember Todd Gloria, who serves the City's 78th District, said he supports the bill because it would bring down the cost for local drivers to maintain their vehicles.
"It's too much for too many of our working families to have to pay for flat tires and broken axles caused by the poor conditions of our roads and potholes in all our communities," Gloria said. "What we're doing today is a down payment to try and fix roads that will cost taxpayers less money because we're fixing our roads correctly as opposed to letting them deteriorate."
According to Gloria's office, San Diego County could expect to receive between $70 million to $80 million.
At the same time, the City of San Diego is pushing to fix a thousand miles of streets over five years.
A 2016 study found that conditions have improved in recent years; the study gave city roads a grade of 72 percent, beating out cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco. However, the study found there was still much work to be done. Learn more about that study here.